Shareholders in television and Internet providers Comcast (CMCSA), DirecTV (DTV) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) have reason to be happy these days. They're all strong, financially speaking, and seem to be making Wall Street analysts happy, too.
Comcast, which just took control of NBC Universal, saw its earnings estimate raised by Morgan Stanley.
"The firm said it boosted its estimates for CMCSA through 2012, noting that the NBC Universal joint-venture should add to earnings in coming quarters. Morgan Stanley maintains its 'equal-weight' rating," reports Dividend.com.
DirecTV, meanwhile, has got its customers spending time in front of the tube. Fiber-based pay-TV services may be competing with DirecTV, which provides satellite transmission, while Internet service providers are muscling on the sector by allowing customers to watch movies and shows online.
Yet DirecTV does provide Internet services and enjoys a loyal following, something that is hard to take away, notes StockCall.com, an equity research service.
The company added 289,000 subscribers in the United States during the fourth quarter of last year, beating out Kaufman Brothers expectations for 255,000 subscribers. "The majority of new subscribers came from cable providers," Chief Executive Mike White told Reuters.
Total revenue for 2010 hit $24.1 billion, up 12 percent from a year ago.
Time Warner Cable, meanwhile, is fighting for market share. The company has said what all investors like to hear, positive changes to dividend policies: TWC is raising its regular quarterly dividend by 20 percent to 48 cents per share — $1.92 per share on an annualized basis.
Time Warner Cable's full-year revenues rose 5.6 percent over 2009 to $18.9 billion. Subscription revenues grew 4.8 percent to $18.0 billion, with residential subscription revenues increasing 3.9 percent and commercial subscription revenues growing 21.1 percent.
Advertising revenues increased 25.5 percent to $881 million, according to company financial reports.
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