April 25, 2018 / 10:20 AM / in 7 months

Comcast internet subscriber growth tops video losses

April 25 (Reuters) - Comcast Corp posted quarterly earnings that topped Wall Street estimates on Wednesday as the communications company cut expenses and a rise in high-speed internet customers exceeded a drop in cable television subscribers.

NBCUniversal’s broadcast of the Olympics and the Super Bowl professional football championship boosted the television business.

The biggest U.S. cable provider’s main TV business is under pressure as more viewers look to “cut the cord” in favor of cheaper streaming services like Alphabet Inc’s YouTube and Netflix Inc, but it added 273,000 customers overall in the fiscal first quarter.

Comcast revenue rose 10.7 percent to $22.79 billion, just ahead of the analyst consensus of $22.74 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total capital expenditures were $1.97 billion during the quarter, down 5 percent from last year.

On an adjusted basis, earnings per share were 62 cents per share, beating analyst estimates of 59 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters data. It was not immediately clear if the figures were fully comparable.

Comcast lost 96,000 video subscribers in the quarter ended March 31, compared with an addition of 42,000 customers last year. Analysts from MoffettNathanson, UBS and Macquarie had expected losses of about 75,000 video customers.

But the company added 379,000 high-speed internet customers during the quarter, compared with estimates of about 365,000, and average earnings per customer relationship ticked up 0.9 percent to $152.83.

NBCUniversal’s revenue rose by 21 percent from last year, driven by the airing of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and the U.S. Super Bowl.

Comcast is also taking steps to grow its wireless business. Comcast and Charter Communications Inc announced they will partner to build back-end software to support their Xfinity and Spectrum mobile services, respectively.

Reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by Peter Henderson and Lisa Shumaker

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