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Comcast falls short of earnings targets

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the third-quarter results is that cable continues to carry the team's bottom line.

Comcast lost fewer video customers than Wall Street expected, but fell short of earnings targets for the third quarter.

The cable and media giant reported third-quarter net income of $908 million, or 33 cents a share, on revenue of $14.34 billion. The results included NBC Universal. Wall Street was looking for earnings of 40 cents a share on revenue of $14.25 billion. Comcast blamed swings in investment income for the miss.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the Comcast results is that cable continues to carry the team’s bottom line. The cable unit delivered third-quarter revenue of $9.33 billion, up 5 percent from a year ago. High-speed Internet revenue was up almost 10 percent, and business services sales surged 39.4 percent.

Average revenue per video customer was $135.58.

Comcast revenue, November 2011
Screenshot by Larry Dignan/ZDNet

On the customer front, Comcast added 229,000 net customers led by gains in voice and Internet access. Comcast continues to lose video subscribers--165,000 in the third quarter. The tally was better than Wall Street expected.

Comcast customer totals
Screenshot by Larry Dignan/ZDNet

Revenue for NBC Universal in the third quarter was $5.2 billion, up 4.6 percent from a year ago. Cable networks revenue was up 12 percent from a year ago, with broadcast sales up 3 percent.

This story initially appeared at ZDNet's Between the Lines under the headline "Comcast slows bleeding on video customer losses, misses Q3 targets."