Comcast added 89,000 basic video subscribers in the fourth quarter, its best quarterly showing in that segment in eight years, fueled by gains in its triple play and high-speed data products.
High-speed data additions of 460,000 were the best Q4 results for the company in nine years. The cable operator also added 139,000 voice customers in the quarter.
Overall customer relationships increased by 281,000 to 27.7 million customers in the fourth quarter a 57.6% gain over the 178,000 added in Q4 2014 and bolstered by increases in its double and triple play product offerings. For the full year, Comcast lost 36,000 basic video customers, an improvement over the 194,000 lost in 2014.
Cable revenue was up 5.9% in the period and operating cash flow increased 4.6%. At NBC Universal, revenue increased 13% n the quarter, boosted by strong showings in Filmed Entertainment (up 25.8%) and Theme Parks (38.6%). Broadcast TV revenue was up a strong 7% and cable networks revenue rose 3.4%.
As a result Comcast said it would increase its dividend by 10% to $1.10 per share and buyback about $5 billion of its own stock in 2016.
"I am exceptionally proud of our results this year, which were driven by strong performances in each of our core businesses, Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts. “At Comcast Cable, our focus on delivering the most innovative products and improving the customer experience led to fantastic operating metrics, including our best video customer results in nine years, and our best high-speed Internet customer results in eight years.”
“As we enter 2016, the momentum we see across our portfolio is truly exciting,” Roberts continued. “We are executing at the highest level, investing prudently, and energized and focused on driving growth and shareholder value.”
Time Warner Cable, Comcast's erstwhile merger partner, also said it added subscribers in the fourth quarter as cable operators' earning season gets under way.