Comcast tops profit forecasts; cable TV subscriptions fall

Comcast Center in Philadelphia

Comcast Center in Philadelphia. Credit iStock

21st Century Fox, a company which will eventually end up with parts of it being owned by Disney, is trying to buy the 61 % of Sky which it does already own, while Comcast has a public offer out to Sky shareholders saying it will buy all and any of Sky and... Only in response to an analyst's question did Roberts say that Fox represented "a unique opportunity" that was "mostly about worldwide expansion", not creating greater scale or developing new products.

Instead, Roberts and his three top lieutenants on the earnings call focused on why Wall Street should fall in love again with Comcast's fundamental strengths. "We thought it [the acquisition] was mostly about the global expansion opportunity ... Ultimately we pulled back because we thought we couldn't build enough shareholder value by making the price that it seemed in our judgement to be able to buy it at, which was increasing".

Sky PLC (LON:SKY) has reported a strong uplift in earnings and customer numbers in what could be its last set of full-year results as an independent company amid a bidding war over the broadcaster.

"Today Sky is bigger and doing more for customers than ever before - and we're proud that is being recognised globally". "We think it's a great business".

Pay TV giant Sky has reported a 7% rebound in annual earnings and cheered its global appeal as it remains at the centre of a takeover battle between suitors 21st Century Fox and Comcast.

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Elsewhere, Darroch wouldn't be drawn on discussing the Disney-Fox-Comcast bid process but did say that he believes Sky's "culture of success" make it a great fit for any owner.

Comcast said it has increased its marketing for internet-only subscribers, since internet has higher profit margins than cable, which are diminished by TV programming costs.

Net profit jumped 27.6 percent to Dollars 3.216 billion, on revenues up 2.1 percent to USD 21.735 billion. That will serve as a deterrent to Disney, even if it is loath to lose out on the access to European markets that Sky promises, particularly to a direct rival like Comcast.

Shares of Comcast rose 4.2 percent, to $29.60, in midday trading Thursday.

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