Comcast Announces Stock Repurchase, 2004 Guidance


Comcast Corp. released its 2004 guidance Thursday, estimating that it would generate $2 billion in free cash flow (cash flow after interest payments and capital expenditures are made) for the year, fueled mainly by operating-cash-flow growth of 15%-17% and a reduction in capital expenditures of about $600 million to between $3.3 billion-$3.4 billion.

Comcast had not previously given free-cash-flow guidance for 2003, although it has said it expected to be free-cash-flow positive for the year.

Earlier in the year, the MSO said it expected 2003 operating cash flow to be between $6.3 billion-$6.4 billion.

Comcast also announced that its board of directors has authorized a share-repurchase program of up to $1 billion in common stock. The company said it expects those share repurchases to occur from time to time in open-market or private transactions, depending on market conditions.

"Our operational and integration progress will produce continued revenue and operating-cash-flow growth and significant free cash flow in 2004," Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in a prepared statement.

"We have strengthened our balance sheet with nearly $7 billion in debt reduction and still retain substantial additional liquidity," he added. "Our solid financial and operating performance, combined with confidence in our continuing growth prospects, are reflected in this stock-repurchase announcement."