Comcast shares slump as broadband subscriber growth continues to slow

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Brian Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer of Comcast Corp.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Comcast is set to announce its first-quarter earnings before the opening bell on Thursday.

Here’s what Wall Street is expecting:

  • Earnings: 80 cents per share, according to Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $30.5 billion, according to Refinitiv
  • High-speed internet customers: 229,000 net additions, according to analysts surveyed by FactSet

Analysts will be paying close attention to Comcast’s broadband segment. The company is expected to add 229,000 new high-speed internet customers during the first quarter, well short of the 461,000 it added in the same quarter last year.

In a conference call last quarter, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said broadband market conditions this year would continue to feel the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Within this environment, we will strike the right balance between subscriber acquisition against a large and expanding addressable market as well as long-term profitable growth,” Roberts said.

While the broadband segment may remain subdued, Bank of America Securities analysts said in a note to clients earlier this month that Comcast is “an attractive equity and defensive amidst market turmoil.” Markets have been adversely affected by rising inflation, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and unease over the Federal Reserve’s plans to hike interest rates and ease bond-buying.

Bank of America pointed to Comcast’s Cable and Sky divisions as potential bright spots during the quarter, along with its Universal theme park business, which has recently bounced back after it was hit by closures and capacity reductions stemming from the pandemic.

On Wednesday, Comcast announced a new joint venture with Charter Communications that will see its Xfinity Flex streaming hardware available to broadband subscribers of both companies.

— CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting to this story.

WATCH: ‘The pendulum has swung too far to the negative on streaming,’ says Guggenheim’s Michael Morris

Disclosure: Comcast owns CNBC’s parent NBCUniversal.

Sophie Tremblay

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