Charter, Comcast see mobile growth

Comcast increases wireless revenues more than 13% YoY

Cable companies Comcast and Charter Communications both reported quarterly earnings in which mobile growth was a bright spot amid customer losses in other areas of their businesses.

Comcast beat analysts’ expectations on its first-quarter profit performance. The cable MSO scored mobile net additions of 289,000 in the first quarter of 2024, and its domestic wireless revenues grew more than 13% to $972 million for the quarter. Comcast’s wireless customer base is now at 6.9 million.

The company’s consolidated revenues were up 1.2% compared to the first quarter of 2023, with net income up 0.6% to $3.86 billion.

“Our team is continuing to execute exceptionally well in a dynamic and competitive marketplace,” said Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast. He went on to added that the company grew its broadband ARPU more than 4% and saw 7% revenue growth in its connectivity businesses. “Overall, I am proud of our ability to consistently perform at the highest levels and continue to position the company for long-term growth,” Roberts added.

The company reported a loss of 65,000 domestic broadband subscribers compared to the first quarter of last year, and it saw total domestic video customer net losses of 487,000. Overall, due to losses in other areas, Comcast’s total customer relationships in its Connectivity and Platforms unit dipped by 166,000 despite the growth in mobile.

Meanwhile, Comcast’s capital expenditures dropped 1.3% to $2.6 billion in the quarter, with its Connectivity and Platforms capex decreasing 3.8% to $1.9 billion—which the company said was due to lower spending on customer premise equipment, infrastructure and support capital.

Comcast’s Peacock streaming service also saw strong growth, with paid Peacock subscriber up 55% compared to the same period last year and net additions of 3 million during the first quarter. Comcast said that its Peacock revenue was up 54% year-on-year to $1.1 billion for the quarter.

Mobile lines jump at Charter Communications

Charter Communications reported that its internet customer base shrink by 72,000 compared to the first quarter of last year, but mobile lines increased by 486,000. Charter served 8.3 million mobile lines as of the end of the first quarter of 2024, and a residential and small-and-medium-business internet customer base of 30.5 million.

The company’s first-quarter revenue was $13.7 million, up just 0.2% year-over-year and driven by the company’s residential mobile service growth, which came in at 37.8%. Comparatively, Charter’s residential internet revenue grew only 1.9%.

Net income was $1.1 billion, up slightly from $1.1 billion in the year-ago quarter, and Charter also noted that its free cash flow for the quarter dropped substantially—from $664 million in the year-ago quarter to $358 million—due to its network investments and a one-time settlement payment during the quarter. First quarter capital expenditures were $2.8 billion, including $1 billion in line extensions.

Charter is on plan to evolve its network at a lower cost than its competitors to offer symmetrical and multi-gigabit speeds across its entire footprint. Charter’s Advanced WiFi, a managed WiFi service that provides customers an optimized home network while providing greater control of their connected devices with enhanced security and privacy is available to all Spectrum Internet customers.

Residential video customers decreased by 392,000 in the first quarter of 2024, compared to a decline of 237,000 in the first quarter of 2023. As of March 31, 2024, Charter had 13.1 million residential video customers.

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