Comcast Reports 2007 Results and Provides Outlook for 2008
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Comcast Corporation
today reported results for the quarter and the year
ended December 31, 2007. The following table highlights financial and
operational results (dollars in millions, except per share amounts; units in
- 2007 Consolidated Revenue increased 24%
- 2007 Consolidated Operating Income increased 21%
- 2007 Consolidated Operating Cash Flow increased 25%
- 2007 EPS of $0.83; Adjusted EPS of $0.74 increased 23%
- Company Repurchased $1.25 billion of its Common Shares in the 4th Quarter
- Comcast Initiates a Quarterly Dividend - Planned at $0.25 Annually
- Comcast to Repurchase Approximately $7 billion of Stock by Year-End 2009
4th Quarter Full Year Consolidated 2007 2006 Growth 2007 2006 Growth Revenue $8,014 $7,031 14% $30,895 $24,966 24% Operating Cash Flow $3,082 $2,594 19% $11,786 $9,442 25% Operating Income $1,458 $1,218 20% $5,578 $4,619 21% Net Income $602 $390 54% $2,587 $2,533 2% Earnings per Share $0.20 $0.13 54% $0.83 $0.79 5% Adjusted Net Income(1) $602 $459 31% $2,287 $1,933 18% Adjusted Earnings per Share(1) $0.20 $0.15 33% $0.74 $0.60 23% Pro Forma Cable(2) Revenue $7,578 $6,927 9% $29,434 $26,482 11% Operating Cash Flow $3,124 $2,755 13% $11,976 $10,555 13% Revenue Generating Unit Additions 1,236 1,638 (25%) 6,013 5,055 19%
Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, said, "In 2007 we delivered very healthy growth in revenue and operating cash flow, added substantial revenue generating units and generated significant earnings growth - despite a weak economy and intensified competition in the second half of the year. Our goal continues to be to deliver consistent, profitable growth that builds long-term shareholder value. For 2008, we are confident about our competitive position and our ability to further grow our business, as illustrated by our outlook for 2008 free cash flow growth of at least 20%.
Our ability to generate substantial free cash flow has allowed us to continue to return significant capital to our shareholders. In the 4th quarter of 2007, we repurchased $1.25 billion of stock, equal to 15% of the $8.2 billion authorization. Our total buyback for the year was $3.1 billion, representing 132% of our free cash flow and more than a 4% reduction in total shares outstanding.
As further evidence of our continued commitment to returning capital to shareholders, we are making two important announcements today. First, we are pleased to announce that our Board of Directors has approved a quarterly dividend of $0.0625 per share, which will be payable in April. This represents the first payment of a planned annual dividend of $0.25 per share. In addition, we are announcing our intent to fully utilize our remaining $6.9 billion share repurchase authorization by the end of 2009. Taken together, we believe these actions underscore our strong confidence in the cash flow generation of our business and our continued commitment to returning capital and building shareholder value."
Year ended December 31, 2007
Revenue increased 24% in 2007 to $30.9 billion while Operating Cash Flow (as defined in Table 7) increased 25% to $11.8 billion and Operating Income increased 21% to $5.6 billion. This significant growth was due to strong operating results at Comcast Cable and the positive impact of cable acquisitions. On a pro forma basis(3), Consolidated Revenue increased 12% to $31.0 billion in 2007 while Consolidated Operating Cash Flow increased 13% to $11.8 billion for the year.
Net Income increased to $2.6 billion, or $0.83 per share, in 2007, compared to $2.5 billion, or $0.79 per share, in 2006. In addition to strong operating results at Comcast Cable, net income reflects a one-time gain of $500 million (or $300 million net of tax) related to the dissolution of our Texas/Kansas City Cable Partnership in the first quarter of 2007 included in other income. Excluding this gain, Adjusted Net Income for 2007 would have been $2.3 billion or $0.74 per share, as reconciled in Table 7-B. Similarly, 2006 results included a one-time gain included in investment income, of $646 million (or $405 million net of tax) related to the Adelphia/Time Warner transactions and a one-time gain of $195 million, net of tax, on discontinued operations related to the transfer of cable systems to Time Warner. Excluding these gains, Adjusted Net Income for 2006 would have been $1.9 billion, or $0.60 per share.
Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities increased to $8.8 billion in 2007 up from $6.6 billion in 2006, due primarily to stronger cable operating results, cable system acquisitions, and proceeds from sales of trading securities.
Free Cash Flow (described further on Table 4) was $2.3 billion in 2007 compared to $2.6 billion in 2006. This decline was due primarily to an increase in capital expenditures and additional interest related to increased borrowings.
Fourth Quarter 2007
Driven by strong operating results at Comcast Cable and the positive impact of cable acquisitions, Comcast reported fourth quarter consolidated revenue of $8.0 billion, an increase of 14%, and an increase in consolidated Operating Cash Flow of 19% to $3.1 billion compared to the fourth quarter of 2006. Consolidated operating income increased 20% to $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007 compared to $1.2 billion in 2006.
Net income increased to $602 million, or $0.20 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2007 compared to $390 million, or $0.13 per share, in the prior year. Results in 2006 included two adjustments that reduced gains on the Adelphia/Time Warner transactions. One adjustment is included in investment income for $30 million, net of tax, and the other adjustment is on the gain on discontinued operations for $39 million, net of tax. Excluding these adjustments, Adjusted Net Income for the fourth quarter of 2006 would have been $459 million, or $0.15 per share.
Free Cash Flow was $1.0 billion in 4Q07 compared to $342 million in 4Q06. This is a result of stronger operating results and changes in operating assets and liabilities.
Pro Forma Cable Segment Results(2)
Year ended December 31, 2007
Revenue increased 11% to $29.4 billion for the year reflecting strong demand for Comcast's services. A decline in advertising revenue and a challenging economic and competitive environment in the second half of the year adversely impacted this revenue increase.
Revenue generating units (RGUs)(4) on a net basis increased 19%, or 6.0 million compared to net additions of 5.1 million last year. Comcast ended 2007 with 57.0 million RGUs.
Operating Cash Flow grew 13% to $12.0 billion resulting in an Operating Cash Flow margin of 40.7%, an increase from the 39.9% reported last year. This margin improvement reflects strong revenue growth and our continuing success in controlling the growth of operating expenses. In 2007, programming expense increased 7% to $5.8 billion. In 2007 Comcast Cable hired and trained over 10,000 new employees to support higher service and installation activity that resulted from higher RGU additions and our efforts to improve customer service.
- Added 2.5 million new digital cable subscribers in 2007 - 33% growth over last year
- 6.3 million, or 42%, of our digital cable subscribers took advanced services such as digital video recorders (DVR) and high-definition television (HDTV) compared to 4.5 million, or 36%, a year ago
Video revenue increased 7% to $17.7 billion in 2007, reflecting growth in digital cable customers and increased demand for advanced digital features including ON DEMAND, DVR and HDTV, as well as higher basic cable pricing.
Basic cable subscribers decreased by 180,000, or 0.7%, to 24.1 million during 2007 with 15.2 million or 63% of video customers taking digital cable services. Comcast added a record 2.5 million digital cable customers in 2007, an increase of 33% from the 1.9 million digital cable customers added in 2006. Digital cable customer additions in 2007 included 1.0 million full digital cable and 1.5 million digital starter subscribers.
During the year, 1.8 million additional digital cable customers subscribed to advanced services, like DVR and HDTV, either by upgrading their digital cable service or as new customers. As of December 31, 2007, 6.3 million, or 42% of our digital cable customers received advanced services, 5.4 million, or 36% received full digital cable, and 3.5 million, or 23% were digital starter subscribers.
Growth in video revenue also reflects increasing ON DEMAND movie purchases. Pay-per-view revenue increased 22% to $774 million in 2007.
- Added 1.7 million high-speed Internet subscribers during 2007 compared to 1.9 million in the prior year
High-speed Internet revenue increased 18% to $6.4 billion in 2007, reflecting a 1.7 million or 15% increase in subscribers from the prior year and relatively stable average monthly revenue per subscriber of approximately $43. Comcast ended 2007 with 13.2 million high-speed Internet subscribers, or 27% penetration of homes passed.
- Added over 2.5 million Comcast Digital Voice (CDV) customers compared to 1.6 million added in the prior year - an increase of 61%
- Increased CDV-ready homes passed by 9 million - CDV service now marketed to 42 million homes representing 86% of Comcast's markets
Phone revenue increased 85% to $1.8 billion due to significant growth in CDV subscribers, offset by a $229 million, or 50% decline in circuit-switched phone revenues as Comcast transitions to marketing CDV in most areas. Comcast ended 2007 with a total of 4.4 million CDV customers or 10.4% of available homes. Entering 2008, Comcast has fewer than 200,000 circuit-switched customers, with the winding down of that business expected to be completed by the end of 2008.
Advertising revenue decreased 3% to $1.5 billion in 2007, reflecting a significant decline in political advertising, softness in some discretionary categories and one less week in the broadcast advertising calendar compared to last year.
Capital expenditures of $6.0 billion increased 29% in 2007, reflecting RGU growth, a 63% increase in the number of set-top boxes deployed (including over 2 million HD and/or DVR boxes), additional overhead and equipment necessary to support the higher level of RGU activity, network improvements, capital expenditures related to commercial services, as well as the integration of the acquired systems from Adelphia and Time Warner.
Fourth Quarter 2007
- Added 1.2 million RGUs during the quarter
- 13% Operating Cash Flow growth
Comcast Cable reported revenue of $7.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007, an increase of 9% from the prior year. Video revenue increased 6% reflecting growth in digital cable customers, increased demand for advanced digital features, such as DVR and HDTV, and higher basic cable pricing. Comcast Cable added 523,000 digital cable subscribers and lost 94,000 basic cable subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2007. Driven by increasing ON DEMAND movies and events, pay-per-view revenue increased 23% to $197 million in the fourth quarter of 2007.
High-speed Internet revenue increased 14% in the quarter to $1.7 billion. The growth includes the addition of 331,000 high-speed Internet subscribers and stable monthly revenue per subscriber. Phone revenue increased 73% in the fourth quarter of 2007 to $523 million reflecting the addition of 604,000 CDV customers offset by the decline of 128,000 circuit-switched customers during the quarter.
Advertising revenue decreased 12% to $418 million in the fourth quarter of 2007, reflecting lower political advertising, continued weakness in certain discretionary categories and one less week in the broadcast advertising calendar compared to the same period in 2006.
Operating Cash Flow grew 13% to $3.1 billion during the quarter, reflecting solid revenue growth and the Company's success in controlling the growth of operating expenses. Operating Cash Flow margin for the quarter was 41.2% compared to 39.8% one year ago.
Comcast Cable capital expenditures of $1.5 billion for the quarter were 7% higher than the fourth quarter of 2006.
Programming Segment Results
Comcast's Programming segment consists of our national programming networks E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, and other emerging networks.
The Programming segment reported 2007 revenue of $1.3 billion, a 25% increase from 2006, reflecting continued growth in advertising driven by strong ratings, affiliate and international revenue. Operating Cash Flow increased 20% to $286 million in 2007, reflecting strong revenue growth, partially offset by an increase in production, programming and marketing expenses related to new and live event programming for our networks including the PGA TOUR on The Golf Channel.
Fourth Quarter 2007
For the fourth quarter of 2007, Comcast's Programming segment reported revenue of $348 million, a 23% increase compared to the prior year. Operating Cash Flow increased to $49 million, an increase of 17% from the same period last year, reflecting continued strength in ratings, national advertising and affiliate revenue.
Corporate and Other
Corporate and Other includes corporate overhead, Comcast Spectacor, Comcast Interactive Media (CIM), and other operations and eliminations between Comcast's businesses. In 2007, Comcast reported Corporate and Other revenue of $275 million, a 6% increase over last year. The Operating Cash Flow loss for the year was $423 million compared to a loss of $322 million in 2006. The 2007 loss includes $55 million in expense recognized in the third quarter of 2007 related to the anticipated cost and settlement of previously-disclosed At Home litigation.
Fourth Quarter 2007
For the quarter ended December 31, 2007, Corporate and Other revenue decreased to $88 million from the $108 million reported in 2006. The Operating Cash Flow loss for the fourth quarter of 2007 was $92 million compared to a loss of $96 million in 2006.
Share Repurchase Program
In 2007, Comcast repurchased 132.9 million of its common shares for approximately $3.1 billion, reducing the number of total shares outstanding by more than 4%. Comcast repurchased 63.3 million of its common shares for $1.25 billion during the fourth quarter of 2007. As of December 31, 2007, Comcast had approximately $6.9 billion of availability remaining under its share repurchase authorization, which it intends to fully utilize by the end of 2009.
Since the inception of its first repurchase program in December 2003, the Company has repurchased $10.5 billion of its common stock and convertible securities, reducing the number of shares outstanding by 15%. These include repurchasing $9.1 billion or 436.3 million shares of common stock and redeeming several debt issues for $1.4 billion that were exchangeable into 70.9 million shares of common stock.
2007 Performance vs. Guidance
Comcast delivered results in line with the annual guidance provided on December 4, 2007: Guidance Results Pro Forma Consolidated Revenue growth(3) At least 11% 12% Pro Forma Consolidated Operating Cash Flow growth(3) Approximately 13% 13% Free Cash Flow Approximately 80% of 2006 89% of 2006 Pro Forma Cable Revenue growth Approximately 11% 11% Pro Forma Cable Operating Cash Flow growth Approximately 13% 13% RGU additions Approximately 6 million 6 million Cable Capital Expenditures Approximately $6.0 billion $6.0 billion 2008 Financial Outlook -- Consolidated Revenue and Operating Cash Flow growth of 8% to 10%(5) -- Consolidated Capital Expenditures as a percent of revenue expected to decline to approximately 18% -- Consolidated Free Cash Flow growth of at least 20% from the $2.3 billion reported in 2007
The outlook above does not reflect the potential impact of any tax law changes or any future sales or acquisitions of businesses or operating assets (or related tax effects).
Notes: (1) Net income and earnings per share are adjusted for one-time gains, net of tax, related to the Adelphia/Time Warner transactions in 2006 and the dissolution of the Texas/Kansas City Cable Partnership in 2007. Please refer to Table 7-B for a reconciliation of adjusted net income and earnings per share. (2) Cable results are presented on a pro forma basis. Pro forma results adjust only for certain acquisitions and dispositions, including Susquehanna Communications (April 2006), Adelphia/Time Warner transactions (July 2006), the dissolution of the Texas/Kansas City Cable Partnership (January 2007), SportsNet Bay Area/Sports Channel New England (June 2007), and the cable system acquired from Patriot Media (August 2007). Cable results are presented as if the transactions noted above were effective on January 1, 2006. The net impact of these transactions was to increase the number of basic cable subscribers by 2.7 million. Please refer to Table 7-A for a reconciliation of pro forma financial data. (3) Presented on a pro forma basis as described in note 2. (4) Represents the sum of basic and digital cable, high-speed Internet and net phone subscribers, excluding additional outlets. Subscriptions to DVR and/or HDTV services by existing Comcast Digital Cable customers do not result in additional RGUs. (5) In addition to the pro forma adjustments described in note 2, the 2008 Financial Outlook adjusts for the dissolution of the Insight Cable Partnership (January 2008), as if the transaction was effective on January 1, 2007. Conference Call Information
Comcast Corporation will host a conference call with the financial community today February 14, 2008 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET). The conference call will be broadcast live on the Company's Investor Relations website at www.cmcsa.com or www.cmcsk.com. A recording of the call will be available on the Investor Relations website starting at 12:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, February 14, 2008. To participate via telephone, please dial (800) 263-8495 with the conference ID number 30449562. A telephone replay will begin immediately following the call and will be available until Friday, February 15, 2008 at midnight Eastern Time (ET). To access the rebroadcast, please dial (800) 642-1687 and enter passcode number 30449562.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include changes in business and economic conditions as well as other risks and uncertainties described in Comcast's periodic and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. The amount and timing of share repurchases and dividends is subject to business, economic and other relevant factors.
In this discussion, we sometimes refer to financial measures that are not presented according to generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. (GAAP). Certain of these measures are considered "non-GAAP financial measures" under the SEC regulations; those rules require the supplemental explanations and reconciliations provided in Table 7 of this release. All percentages are calculated based on actual amounts. Minor differences may exist due to rounding.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA - News, CMCSK - News; http://www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of entertainment, information and communications products and services. With 24.1 million cable customers, 13.2 million high- speed Internet customers, and 4.6 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable systems and in the delivery of programming content. Comcast's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, Comcast SportsNet and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast's Internet business. Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.