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Comcast’s stock rose nearly 6 percent to close near its all-time high on Wednesday following a better-than-expected earnings report that attracted positive reviews from Wall Street, particularly for the cable giant’s entertainment arm NBCUniversal.
Comcast shares closed at $45.08, up 5.6 percent. That was near an all-time high of $45.63 set earlier this month.
NBCUniversal, led by CEO Steve Burke, drew much attention with revenue and operating cash flow growth, including the film unit’s swing to a profit on the strength of Fast & Furious 6.
“Vertical integration [is] beginning to work,” Maxim Group analyst John Tinker said in the tile of a report, in which he reiterated his “buy” rating and boosted his price target on Comcast’s stock by $8 to $56. “NBCU contributed half the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization growth in the second quarter, confirming the benefits of vertical integration.”
Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker reiterated her “outperform” rating on Comcast’s stock, highlighting the “bullish tone” of management in the company’s earnings conference call.
Among other things, she raved: “NBCU did terrific in the upfront…The big differentiator here is that NBCU sold all of its properties together – sounds like this was the first time.”
And Michael Senno, analyst at Credit Suisse, summarized Comcast’s earnings report this way: “Another solid quarter could jump start shares.”
He explained that amid M&A hopes, some other cable stocks have trended higher as of late. “Comcast shares have lagged peers in recent months with the absence of any major near-term catalysts,” said Senno. “We view continued solid execution and upside at NBCU as Comcast’s key drivers, indicative in today’s results.”
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