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Comcast earnings move on up

Cable operator tops estimates, helped by strong subscriber growth and tax gains from Adelphia, Time Warner transactions.

October 26 2006: 7:43 AM EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable operator, reported a jump in quarterly profit Thursday on strong subscriber growth and tax gains related to its purchase of some cable systems from Adelphia and swaps with Time Warner.

Comcast's third-quarter net profit rose to $1.22 billion, or 58 cents per share, from $222 million, or 10 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 22 percent to $6.43 billion.

Without the tax gains from the Adelphia and Time Warner cable systems transactions, Comcast's net income was $548 million or 26 cents a share. On that basis, analysts, on average, expected 19 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

For the first time, Comcast's results include the consolidation of cable assets acquired from bankrupt Adelphia Communications Corp. and cable assets swapped with Time Warner Inc. as part of the deal on July 31. (Time Warner is the parent company of CNNMoney.com)

Comcast's share price has risen by about 50 percent since the start of the year, leading a broad upturn for cable stocks as investors were attracted by cable's successful marketing of bundled video, high-speed Internet and phone services.

Competitor DirectTV this week announces it would launch a new Arabic-language programming package. EchoStar Communications Group will release its earnings Nov. 7.

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( Source: http://money.cnn.com/2006/10/26/news/companies/comcast_earnings.reut/index.htm?eref=money_latest )
 
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