NBCUniversal Second-Quarter Financials Decline

Steve Burke - PR Headshot - P - 2011

UPDATED: The entertainment company, led by CEO Steve Burke, posted weaker results, including a film operating cash flow loss amid the underperformance of "Battleship."

Comcast-controlled entertainment company NBCUniversal on Wednesday reported weaker second-quarter financials, including a film unit operating cash flow loss amid the underperformance of "Battleship."

Management, led by CEO Steve Burke, had forecast lower results for the latest period.

NBCUniversal's operating cash flow of $982 million was down 15.4 percent from $1.16 billion in the year-ago period. Revenue declined by 0.8 percent to $5.50 billion.

Cable networks revenue increased 3.6 percent to $2.3 billion, including a 4.1 percent gain in advertising, partially offset by lower revenue from a content licensing agreement signed in the year-ago period. But networks unit operating cash flow decreased 6.8 percent to $788 million due to higher programming and production costs, primarily due to increased investment in original programming and higher NHL and NBA programming costs.

Broadcast TV revenue fell 9.1 percent to $1.5 billion due to the lower revenue from the year-ago content licensing agreement. Broadcast operating cash flow climbed 2.7 percent though to $196 million thanks to better trends at local TV stations.

Film revenue dropped 1.8 percent to $1.2 billion amid lower theatrical and stage plays revenue. The film unit recorded an operating cash flow loss of $83 million, a swing from last year's $27 million profit driven by the underperformance of Battleship.

Theme Parks results improved across the board.

Comcast's overall results exceeded Wall Street expectations. Revenue rose 6.1 percent to $15.2 billion as earnings jumped 19.5 percent to $1.6 billion.

Basic video subscriber losses amounted to 176,000 in the seasonally weak second quarter, better than analysts had forecast and better than the year-ago loss of 238,000 subs.

"NBCUniversal's second-quarter performance came in as anticipated, and we continue to be very positive about our opportunities to build value across all the NBCUniversal businesses," said Comcast chairman and CEO. Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal are also working well together to launch innovative products and experiences - and these efforts are being showcased now as we utilize all of our content and technology platforms to deliver the most comprehensive Olympics coverage ever."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai