Comcast on Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations, despite the continued growth in broadband subscribers and rising losses from its Peacock streaming service.

The company’s revenue growth was driven by higher revenue from its broadband and wireless businesses, as well as its theme parks segment.

Here’s how Comcast is doing compared to estimates from analysts polled by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: 82 cents adjusted, vs. 77 cents expected
  • income: $30.55 billion vs. $30.32 billion expected.

The Philadelphia-based company reported Thursday that its fourth-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell nearly 5% to $8 billion from the same period last year, mainly due to higher weekend spending.

Comcast said it lost 26,000 broadband customers during that period, in part due to service disruptions from Hurricane Ian, which hit Florida and South Carolina in September. Excluding the impact of the hurricane, Comcast said it would have added 4,000 customers.

Still, even that number was a sign that cable broadband subscriber growth has slowed — especially compared to the early days of the Covid pandemic. The slowdown in subscriber growth has hit the cornerstones of the businesses of cable companies such as Comcast and Charter of communication in recent quarters as they face increased competition from telecom and wireless providers.

The companies also recently said that the slowdown in the U.S. housing market — and the slower rate of moving between homes — is contributing to the lack of new customers. Still, Comcast’s broadband subscriber base remained stable, and revenue in that segment increased nearly 6% during the quarter, driven in part by higher prices.

Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile continued to grow with 365,000 net additions in the quarter, bringing total wireless customers to more than 5.3 million. The growth of mobile customers has remained constant for cable TV providers since the beginning of the business in recent years.

The cable TV business lost 440,000 subscribers during the quarter as consumers continue to downsize their traditional TV packages in favor of streaming services.

Peacock pressure

NBCUniversal’s revenue rose about 6% to about $9.9 billion during the fourth quarter thanks to revenue from the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which aired on Spanish-language Telemundo TV and Peacock.

However, Peacock took a toll on NBCUniversal’s film, television, streaming and theme parks business as its adjusted earnings fell more than 36% to $817 million due to Peacock losses and higher weekend costs. NBCUniversal posted an adjusted loss of $978 million related to Peacock, compared with a loss of $559 million in the same period last year.

The company said Thursday that Peacock added 5 million paid subscribers in the fourth quarter, its best quarterly performance since its launch in 2020. Peacock’s customer base surpassed 20 million and its revenue nearly tripled to $2.1 billion.

The theme park business remained a bright spot for NBCUniversal, with revenue in the segment rising 12% to $2.1 billion during the fourth quarter, thanks to higher attendance and customer spending in the US and Japan.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal, which owns CNBC.

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