Comcast’s Basic Video Losses Improve in Q4

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In what is becoming a quarterly ritual for the country’s largest cable operator, Comcast reported yet another strong three-month period of operational performance, losing just 7,000  basic video customers while growing revenue and cash flow in the mid-single digits

Comcast lost just 7,000 basic video customers in the fourth quarter, better than the 17,000 it lost in the same period in 2011 and the ninth straight period of improvement.  At the same time, revenue at its cable operations rose 7% to $10.1 billion and operating cash flow increased another 7% to $4.2 billion in the period. Overall, including its NBCUniversal operations, consolidated revenue rose 6% to $15.9 billion and OCF increased 7.3% to $5.3 billion.

Comcast was encouraged by the strong results, adding that it also increased its dividend by 20% to 78 cents per share on an annualized basis.

“Our businesses have real momentum and we continue to benefit from our focus on operational excellence and to leverage all of our content and technology platforms to expand the entertainment choices we offer consumers,” Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement

Investors also seemed pleased. Comcast shares were up more than 7% ($2.81 each) to $41.78 per sharein after-hours trading Tuesday.

High speed data additions of 341,000 in the period outpaced the prior year’s performance (336,000) and the cable giant added 168,000 phone customers, solidly beating the 146,000 it added in the same period in 2011.