Comcast added about 6,000 basic video subscribers in the fourth quarter, and cable operating cash flow increased about 6.3% to $4.7 billion, as the company said it will raise its annual dividend 11% to $1 per share and increase its share repurchase authorization to $10 billion.
The basic video additions were less than the 46,000 additions in the same period last year, but helped push the operator to another improvement in full year video customer losses – the company shed about 194,000 basic video customers in 2014, better than the 267,000 it lost in the prior year.
The video improvements also heled drive cable revenue up 6.1% to $11.3 billion and operating cash flow up 6.3% to $4.7 billion.
At NBC Universal, revenue rose 2.3% in the quarter to $6.6 billion, while OCF increased 6.6% to $1.4 billion. Overall, consolidated revenue rose 4.8% in the period to $17.7 billion and OCF increased 4.1% to $5.9 billion.
In addition, Comcast said it will raise its dividend 10% to $1 per share and has increased its share repurchase authorization to $10- billion, adding that it plans to repurchase about $4.25 billion of its stock this year.
"2014 was a great year financially, operationally, and strategically for Comcast NBCUniversal. We continued to execute incredibly well as we accelerated our innovation, launched new products, and brought amazing films, shows and theme park attractions to consumers, Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement. "Cable's results, driven by High-Speed Internet and Business Services, demonstrate our focus on driving profitable growth and technology innovations, including our transformative X1 platform. This is bearing fruit in our operating performance, as we added 358,000 customer relationships, while video subscriber trends were the best in 7 years and in broadband we added over 1 million subscribers for the ninth year in a row. NBCUniversal also had a standout performance in 2014, with 18% growth in operating cash flow, driven by a successful Sochi Olympics, continued momentum at NBC Broadcast, the successful opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ - Diagon Alley™ in Orlando, and strong box office performance from Universal Pictures. We enter 2015 with great momentum and significant opportunities ahead, and we look forward to receiving regulatory approval for the Time Warner Cable merger. Underscoring our confidence in the continued success of our company, we are increasing our dividend to $1.00 per share on an annualized basis, marking the seventh consecutive annual increase, and plan to repurchase at least $4.25 billion of our stock this year."