NBCUniversal’s Quarterly Earnings Rise


PHILADELPHIA: Fourth-quarter 2015 revenue at NBCUniversal increased 13 percent, while operating cash flow was up 8.7 percent, with solid performances from the filmed entertainment and theme park segments.

Revenue for Q4 at NBCU was at $7.5 billion. The company reported operating cash flow of $1.6 billion. Fourth-quarter results did include $169 million of revenue and $80 million of operating cash flow attributable to Universal Studios Japan from its acquisition date.

For the quarter, the cable networks segment delivered revenue of $2.4 billion, up 3.4 percent, while operating cash flow decreased 1.9 percent to $894 million. There was a 6.8 percent increase in distribution revenue, partially from the sports net NBCSN, and there was a slight decline in ad revenue, of 0.3 percent, and an increase in sports programming costs.

In the broadcast TV arena, segment revenue was up 7 percent to $2.5 billion, with a 7 percent gain in ad revenue, thanks to higher sales, a 34.9 percent increase in content licensing revenue and higher retransmission consent fees. Operating cash flow was down 5.6 percent to $217 million, with higher revenue being offset by more operating costs and expenses.

Filmed entertainment saw a 25.8 percent spike in revenue to $1.6 billion, with a 74.9 percent increase in home entertainment revenues, driven by Minions and Jurassic World. There was a 22.7 percent increase in content licensing, partially offset by a 37.5 percent decline in theatrical revenue. Operating cash flow was up 84.6 percent to $143 million, with higher revenue partially offset by a 22.1 percent increase in operating costs.

In Q4 2015, the theme parks segment reported revenues of $1 billion, a gain of 38.6 percent year on year. Operating cash flow was up 36.6 percent to $452 million.

Overall at Comcast Corporation, fourth-quarter consolidated revenue was up 8.5 percent, operating cash flow increased 6.7 percent and operating income was up 5.7 percent. For the full-year 2015, Comcast posted an 8.3 percent hike in consolidated revenue, a 7.7 percent gain in operating cash flow and a 7.3 percent increase in operating income. Free cash flow for the full year increased 9.4 percent to $8.9 billion.

Brian L. Roberts, the chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, said, “I am exceptionally proud of our results this year, which were driven by strong performances in each of our core businesses. 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. NBCUniversal had a remarkable year, with record-breaking results at both theme parks and film, and continued success at NBC, which was number one in prime time for the second consecutive season. As we enter 2016, the momentum we see across our portfolio is truly exciting. We are executing at the highest level, investing prudently, and energized and focused on driving growth and shareholder value. Underscoring our confidence in our company, we are increasing our dividend by 10 percent to $1.10 per share and we also plan to repurchase $5.0 billion of our stock this year.”