Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

A Bounceback Quarter for Comcast

larry-the-cable-guy

Things looked a little rough for cable giant Comcast (CMCSA) at the end of 2008, but they seemed to have righted themselves again during the first three months of this year: The company outperformed Wall Street’s revenue and earnings expectations and signed up more subscribers than analysts had expected in at least some of its offerings.

It’s back to the old axiom: Even in the worst of times, people really, really like their TV–and now, their Internet, too.

The numbers: Earnings of 27 cents on revenue of $8.84 billion. Wall Street had expected 23 cents and $8.76 billion, respectively.

Subscribers: Basic cable: Down 78,000. Barclays Capital’s Vijay Jayant had predicted a loss of 185,000 subs.

High-speed Internet: Up 329,000, versus expectations of 225,000

Digital video: Up 288,000, versus expectations of 320,000

Phone: Up 298,000, versus expectations of 375,000

Click chart to enlarge:

comcast-subs


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work