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Comcast Says Coronavirus Might Result in "Material Adverse Impact" to Its Business

By Eric Volkman - Mar 24, 2020 at 7:31PM

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The entertainment giant isn't providing estimates for the financial damage yet.

Despite the popularity of at-home entertainment options in the wake of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak, on Tuesday Comcast (CMCSA -0.23%) put investors on notice that its financial performance in the proximate future is likely to suffer. On Tuesday, the company wrote in a regulatory filing that the fallout from the pandemic "could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations over the near to medium term." 

That's because many of Comcast's revenue streams have been severely compromised by mandatory "stay at home" and "social distancing" measures either encouraged or imposed by authorities. It wrote in the filing:

For example, we have closed all of our theme parks; we have delayed theatrical distribution of films both domestically and internationally; and the creation and availability of our film and television programming in the United States and globally has been disrupted, including from the cancellation or postponement of sports events, including possibly the Olympics, and suspension of entertainment content production.

Comcast sign.

Image source: Comcast.

On the same day as Comcast made its regulatory filing, the International Olympic Committee postponed the 2020 games. The company's NBCUniversal unit was going to broadcast the games, and has so far booked around $1.25 billion in advertising that is now at risk.

Comcast isn't providing forecasts for how the coronavirus outbreak might affect its fundamentals because, at this stage, it is not possible to gauge how long or how detrimental the outbreak will be. Therefore, no accurate projections can be made for advertising and other revenue-producing goods and services.

On Tuesday, Comcast stock inched up by barely over 1%, lagging behind the robust gains of most top stocks and key market indexes. 

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