Comcast Reports Blowout Record Customers and 33 million Peacock sign-ups for NBC Universal

 

 

 

 

Comcast reported fiscal fourth-quarter results that beat analyst estimates on the top and bottom lines. The company said NBCUniversal’s Peacock now has 33 million sign-ups across the U.S., up from 22 million last quarter.

 

Press Release

“Outstanding performance at Cable drove very strong fourth quarter results for our company. We added 538,000 net new broadband customers and delivered Adjusted EBITDA growth of over 12%. Our theme parks in Orlando and Osaka reached breakeven; and encouragingly, Sky returned to customer growth in all three of its markets, bringing our total customer relationships and overall revenue in Europe essentially back to 2019 levels. With the vaccines rolling out throughout the world, we are optimistic that the parts of our business that had been most impacted will soon be back on a path towards growth. This confidence is shared by our Board of Directors, which has announced an increase in the dividend for the thirteenth consecutive year. In addition, it is now our expectation that we will be in a position to begin repurchasing shares again in the back half of this year. While this is certainly the most challenging period we have faced, I could not be more proud of how our management team and employees continue to pull together and deliver. Today’s results are a testament to their commitment and dedication,” commented Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation.

 

Full Year 2020 Highlights:

  • Generated Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA of $30.8 Billion, Adjusted EPS of $2.61 and Free Cash Flow of $13.3 Billion
  • Cable Communications Total Customer Relationships Increased by 1.6 Million, the Best Result on Record; Total High-Speed Internet Customers Increased by 2.0 Million, the Best Result on Record
  • Cable Communications Adjusted EBITDA Increased 8.6% and Adjusted EBITDA per Customer Relationship Increased 4.0%
  • NBCUniversal Reorganized Its Television and Streaming Businesses with a Centralized Structure Optimizing Content Creation, Distribution and Monetization
  • Successfully Launched Peacock, NBCUniversal’s Premium Advertising-Supported Video-On-Demand Streaming Service with 33 Million Sign-Ups Across the U.S. to Date
  • Sky Executed Key Initiatives Across Its Markets, Including Expanding Sky Q Penetration to Over 60% in the U.K., Launching a Broadband Service in Italy and Repositioning Content Investment in Germany

4th Quarter 2020 Highlights:

  • Generated Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA of $7.2 Billion, Adjusted EPS of $0.56 and Free Cash Flow of $1.7 Billion
  • Cable Communications Total Customer Relationships Increased 455,000, the Best Fourth Quarter Result on Record; Total High-Speed Internet Customers Increased 538,000, the Best Fourth Quarter Result on Record
  • Cable Communications Adjusted EBITDA Increased 12.3% and Adjusted EBITDA per Customer Relationship Increased 7.0%
  • Theme Parks Reached Breakeven Excluding Universal Beijing Resort Pre-Opening Costs and Despite the Continued Closure of Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Sky Total Customer Relationship Net Additions Were 244,000 in the Quarter, Reflecting Net Additions in All Markets; Customer Relationships Returned to 99.8% of Pre-COVID Levels

Dividends:

  • Dividends Paid Totaled $4.1 Billion in 2020; Increased Dividend by $0.08, or 9% year-over-year, to $1.00 per Share on an Annualized Basis for 2021

Consolidated Financial Results

Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020 decreased 2.4% to $27.7 billion. Net Income Attributable to Comcast increased 6.9% to $3.4 billion. Adjusted Net Income decreased 28.5% to $2.6 billion. Adjusted EBITDA decreased 14.8% to $7.2 billion.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, revenue decreased 4.9% to $103.6 billion compared to 2019. Net income attributable to Comcast decreased 19.3% to $10.5 billion. Adjusted Net Income decreased 16.4% to $12.1 billion. Adjusted EBITDA decreased 10.0% to $30.8 billion.

Earnings per Share (EPS) for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $0.73, an increase of 7.4% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Adjusted EPS decreased 29.1% to $0.56.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, EPS was $2.28, a 19.4% decrease compared to the prior year. Adjusted EPS decreased 16.6% to $2.61.

Capital Expenditures decreased 8.2% to $2.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020. Cable Communications’ capital expenditures decreased 1.1% to $2.1 billion. NBCUniversal’s capital expenditures decreased 41.2% to $376 million. Sky’s capital expenditures increased 35.6% to $310 million.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, capital expenditures decreased 7.8% to $9.2 billion compared to 2019. Cable Communications’ capital expenditures decreased 4.4% to $6.6 billion. NBCUniversal’s capital expenditures decreased 28.3% to $1.5 billion. Sky’s capital expenditures increased 24.8% to $959 million.

Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities was $5.0 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020. Free Cash Flow was $1.7 billion.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, net cash provided by operating activities was $24.7 billion. Free cash flow was $13.3 billion.

Dividends paid during the fourth quarter of 2020 totaled $1.1 billion. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, dividends paid totaled $4.1 billion.

Today, Comcast announced that it increased its dividend by $0.08, or 9% year-over-year, to $1.00 per share on an annualized basis for 2021. In accordance with the increase, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share on the company’s stock, payable April 28, 2021 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on April 7, 2021.

Cable Communications

Revenue for Cable Communications increased 6.3% to $15.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, driven by increases in high-speed internet, advertising, wireless and business services revenue, partially offset by decreases in voice, video and other revenue. High-speed internet revenue increased 12.7% due to an increase in the number of residential high-speed internet customers and an increase in average rates. Advertising revenue increased 33.8%, primarily reflecting an increase in political advertising revenue. Excluding political advertising revenue, advertising revenue increased 2.2%. Wireless revenue increased 35.8% due to an increase in the number of customer lines and an increase in device sales. Business services revenue increased 4.8%, reflecting an increase in average rates and an increase in the number of customers receiving our services. Voice revenue decreased 6.8%, reflecting decreases in average rates and in the number of residential voice customers. Video revenue decreased 0.7% due to a decrease in the number of residential video customers, partially offset by an increase in average rates. Other revenue decreased 7.5%, primarily reflecting a decrease in revenue from our security and automation services.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, Cable revenue increased 3.4% to $60.1 billion compared to 2019, driven by growth in high-speed internet, wireless, business services and advertising revenue, partially offset by a decrease in voice, video and other revenue. These results were negatively impacted by COVID-19, including accrued customer RSN fee adjustments and lower revenue due to our efforts to assist customers during this public health crisis. Excluding the impact of accrued customer RSN fee adjustments5, Cable Communications revenue increased 4.0%.

Total Customer Relationships increased by 455,000 to 33.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. Residential customer relationships increased by 429,000 and business customer relationships increased by 26,000. Total high-speed internet customer net additions were 538,000, total video customer net losses were 248,000 and total voice customer net losses were 24,000. In addition, Cable Communications added 246,000 wireless lines in the quarter.

For the year ended December 31, 2020, total customer relationships increased by 1.6 million. Residential customer relationships increased by 1.6 million and business customer relationships increased by 30,000. Total high-speed internet customer net additions were 2.0 million, total video customer net losses were 1.4 million and total voice customer net losses were 275,000. In addition, Cable Communications added 774,000 wireless lines during the year.


Adjusted EBITDA
 for Cable Communications increased 12.3% to $6.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, reflecting higher revenue, partially offset by a 2.4% increase in operating expenses. Programming costs increased 7.2%, reflecting the timing of contract renewals, partially offset by a decline in the number of video subscribers. Non-programming expenses were consistent with the prior year period, reflecting lower technical and product support expenses, customer service expenses and other operating expenses, offset by higher advertising, marketing and promotion expenses and franchise and regulatory fees. Non-programming expenses per customer relationship decreased 5.1%. Adjusted EBITDA per customer relationship increased 7.0%, and Adjusted EBITDA margin was 42.1% compared to 39.8% in the fourth quarter of 2019. Cable Communications results include a loss of $60 million from our wireless business, compared to a loss of $116 million in the prior year period.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, Cable Adjusted EBITDA increased 8.6% to $25.3 billion compared to 2019, reflecting higher revenue and operating expenses that were consistent with the prior year. Programming costs increased 0.8%, reflecting the timing of contract renewals, partially offset by adjustments for provisions in our programming distribution agreements with RSNs related to canceled sporting events as a result of COVID-19 and a decline in the number of video subscribers. Excluding the impact of accrued RSN adjustments5, programming costs increased 3.6%. Non-programming expenses decreased 0.7% and non-programming expenses per customer relationship decreased 4.9%, reflecting benefits from cost savings initiatives, partially offset by higher costs as a result of COVID-19. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, Adjusted EBITDA per customer relationship increased 4.0%, and Adjusted EBITDA margin was 42.1% compared to 40.1% in 2019. While the accrued RSN adjustments did not impact Adjusted EBITDA for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, these adjustmentsincreased Adjusted EBITDA margin by 30 basis points. Cable Communications results include a loss of $206 million from our wireless business, compared to a loss of $401 million in the prior year.

Capital Expenditures for Cable Communications decreased 1.1% to $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, primarily reflecting lower spending on support capital, partially offset by increased investment in scalable infrastructure. Cable capital expenditures represented 13.5% of Cable revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to 14.5% in last year’s fourth quarter.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, Cable capital expenditures decreased 4.4% to $6.6 billion, primarily reflecting lower spending on customer premise equipment and support capital, partially offset by increased investment in scalable infrastructure. Cable capital expenditures represented 11.0% of Cable revenue compared to 11.9% in 2019.

Revenue for NBCUniversal decreased 18.1% to $7.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020. Adjusted EBITDA decreased 20.7% to $1.6 billion.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, NBCUniversal revenue decreased 17.3% to $28.1 billion compared to last year’s results. Adjusted EBITDA decreased 28.5% to $6.3 billion.

Cable Networks
Cable Networks revenue decreased 6.4% to $2.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, reflecting lower content licensing and other revenue, advertising revenue and distribution revenue. Content licensing and other revenue decreased 37.9% due to the timing of content provided under licensing agreements. Advertising revenue decreased 4.2%, reflecting continued ratings declines at our networks and reduced spending from advertisers related to the delayed start of some professional sports seasons due to COVID-19, partially offset by higher pricing. Distribution revenue was consistent with the prior year period, reflecting a decline in subscribers, offset by contractual rate increases. Adjusted EBITDA increased 22.4% to $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, primarily reflecting lower revenue, more than offset by lower programming and production expenses. The decrease in programming and production expenses was primarily driven by the reduced number of sporting events resulting from the delayed start of some professional sports seasons due to COVID-19.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, revenue from the Cable Networks segment decreased 5.8% to $10.8 billion compared to 2019, primarily reflecting lower distribution revenue and advertising revenue. Adjusted EBITDA increased 3.9% to $4.6 billion compared to 2019, reflecting lower revenue, more than offset by lower operating costs. The decrease in operating costs was primarily driven by lower programming and production expenses, reflecting the reduced number of sporting events due to COVID-19.

Broadcast Television
Broadcast Television revenue decreased 12.0% to $2.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, reflecting lower content licensing revenue and advertising revenue, partially offset by higher distribution and other revenue. Content licensing revenue decreased 38.6%, reflecting the timing of content provided under licensing agreements. Advertising revenue decreased 9.6%, reflecting continued ratings declines which were impacted by a delay in airing new series due to COVID-19, partially offset by an increase in local political advertising and higher pricing. Distribution and other revenue increased 10.0% due to higher retransmission consent fees. Adjusted EBITDA decreased 24.3% to $356 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, reflecting lower revenue, partially offset by lower operating costs. The decrease in operating costs was primarily driven by lower programming and production expenses, reflecting a delay in the production and airing of new series due to COVID-19.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, Broadcast Television segment revenue of $10.2 billion was consistent with the prior year, reflecting lower advertising revenue, offset by higher content licensing revenue, which included transactions with Peacock, and distribution and other revenue. Adjusted EBITDA increased 11.8% to $1.9 billion compared to 2019, reflecting revenue that was consistent with the prior year and lower operating costs.

Filmed Entertainment
Filmed Entertainment revenue decreased 8.3% to $1.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, primarily reflecting lower theatrical revenue and other revenue, partially offset by higher content licensing revenue. Theatrical revenue decreased 70.0%, primarily driven by theater closures as a result of COVID-19, and included the performance of The Croods: A New Age in this year’s fourth quarter. Other revenue decreased 49.6%, primarily due to decreases in revenue from our movie ticketing, entertainment and live stage play businesses, which were impacted by theater and entertainment venue closures as a result of COVID-19. Content licensing revenue increased 22.7%, driven by the performance of certain 2020 releases that were made available on premium video on demand, including The Croods: A New Age, as well as the timing of content provided under licensing agreements. Adjusted EBITDA increased 65.2% to $151 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, reflecting lower revenue, more than offset by lower operating costs. The decrease in operating costs was primarily driven by lower advertising, marketing and promotion expenses due to a reduced number of releases compared to the prior year period as a result of COVID-19.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, revenue from the Filmed Entertainment segment decreased 18.7% to $5.3 billion compared to 2019, primarily reflecting lower theatrical revenue. Adjusted EBITDA decreased 5.8% to $785 million compared to 2019, reflecting lower revenue, partially offset by lower operating costs. The decrease in operating costs was primarily driven by lower advertising, marketing and promotion expenses as well as lower programming and production expenses due to a reduced number of releases compared to the prior year as a result of COVID-19.

Theme Parks
Theme Parks revenue decreased 62.9% to $579 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, primarily due to Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Japan operating at limited capacity, while Universal Studios Hollywood remains closed as a result of COVID-19. Theme Parks Adjusted EBITDA loss was $15 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, which included pre-opening costs related to Universal Beijing Resort.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, revenue from the Theme Parks segment decreased 68.9% to $1.8 billion compared to 2019, primarily due to the temporary closures of Universal Studios Japan in late February and Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood in mid-March as a result of COVID-19. Theme Parks Adjusted EBITDA loss was $541 million.

Headquarters, Other and Eliminations
NBCUniversal Headquarters, Other and Eliminations include overhead and eliminations among the NBCUniversal businesses. For the quarter ended December 31, 2020, NBCUniversal Headquarters, Other and Eliminations Adjusted EBITDA loss was $144 million compared to a loss of $204 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, NBCUniversal Headquarters, Other and Eliminations Adjusted EBITDA loss was $525 million compared to a loss of $690 million in 2019.


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