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Comcast slides on flat Q2 subscriber growth

Comcast Corp said on Thursday subscriber numbers in its broadband and streaming businesses in the second quarter remained steady, sending the shares of the media company down more than 9% in early trading.

The company’s failure to gain broadband subscribers in the quarter reflected a continued slowdown in a business that had long been a driver of growth. In a call with investors, Comcast attributed that slowdown to fewer people changing homes and increased competition, among other factors.

Comcast said that broadcast subscriber trends have continued into the early part of the third quarter, with a loss of 30,000 customers so far this quarter.

Comcast saw record broadband growth during the beginning of the pandemic, but that has stalled in the previous three quarters.

Comcast, which owns media business NBCUniversal with theme parks around the world, reported a total of 13 million paid subscribers for its Peacock streaming service, same as the preceding quarter. It had warned in April that subscriber gains would be “more modest” until the back half of this year, when more movies and live sports will become available on the service.

Comcast’s total revenue rose 5.1% to $30.02 billion in the quarter, beating analysts’ average estimate of $29.68 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Revenue in the cable business, which includes broadband, was up 3.7% to $16.6 billion, the same as analysts’ estimates.

NBCUniversal revenue increased 18.7% in the quarter, to $9.45 billion, beating Wall Street estimates of $9.02 billion. It was helped by strong performance in NBCUniversal’s studios business, driven by box office sales of Universal Pictures’ “Jurassic World: Dominion,” as well as attendance at theme parks.

Revenue at the theme parks division grew 64.8%.

Net income attributable to Comcast fell to $3.4 billion, or 76 cents per share, from $3.74 billion, or 80 cents per share, a year earlier. US News

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