PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Comcast Corp. added 43,000 video subscribers in the fourth quarter — the first quarterly gain in six and a half years — as the nation's top cable TV company said that uptake of its X1 set-top box helped it retain customers and boost video-on-demand spending.
The company also said Tuesday that it has hiked its share buyback authority and is raising its quarterly dividend. Its shares rose in morning trading.
Net income in the three months through December rose 26 percent to $1.91 billion, or 72 cents per share, from $1.52 billion, or 56 cents per share a year ago. However, the increase was partly due to a one-time tax windfall of $158 million.
Excluding the tax gain, earnings per share came to 66 cents, slightly below the 68 cents per share expected by analysts polled by FactSet.
Revenue rose 6 percent to $16.93 billion, beating the $16.65 billion expected by analysts.
Philadelphia-based Comcast is rolling out its X1 platform to new customers who sign up for at least three services — Internet, video and voice — and to other top customers where it has supplies. The set-top box allows users to navigate a slick interface like a website which can be controlled through mobile device apps and gives access to more content delivered via the Web. For the upcoming Winter Olympics from Sochi, for example, Comcast is bringing the breadth of NBC's live online coverage to big screen TVs for the first time through the X1 platform.
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