Shares of Comcast (CMCSA -3.41%) declined by 6.2% on Thursday after the cable giant said its broadband subscriber growth was slowing.
Comcast's revenue jumped 14% year over year to $31 billion in the first quarter. The gains were fueled in part by a 36.3% surge in revenue from its NBCUniversal media division, which benefited from the Super Bowl and 2022 Beijing Olympic Games, which were together viewed by more than 200 million people. Excluding these special events, NBCUniversal media revenue rose 6.9%.
Still, Comcast shed 512,000 video customers, furthering the trend of people canceling their cable packages in favor of less expensive streaming options. Comcast also saw growth in its broadband internet business decelerate, with its net customer additions falling to 262,000 compared to 461,000 in the year-ago period.
All told, Comcast's adjusted net income climbed 10.5% to $3.9 billion. Its adjusted earnings per share, which were boosted by stock buybacks, increased 13.2% to $0.86.
Cord-cutting will remain an ongoing challenge, but that's a known issue. Investors were likely more concerned about slowing broadband growth, as this segment is key to Comcast's long-term expansion.
That said, Comcast continues to crank out cash. The communications conglomerate generated $4.8 billion in free cash flow in the first quarter alone. That allowed it to reward shareholders with $3 billion in share repurchases and $1.2 billion in dividends.
Comcast is also building out its Peacock streaming platform and Xfinity Mobile wireless business, which could help to offset its cable losses in the coming years.