About the time I complete this report to my Foolish friends, someone my cable provider will arrive at my door to troubleshoot an Internet problem. Unfortunately for me, that person won't be a Comcast
I've followed Comcast for about a decade now. During that time, I've watched its subscriber contingent grow from about 5 million to nearly 25 million, as the market bounced the company's shares between $14 and just below $30. In fact, rock-solid performance is about the only thing that's stayed steady. The June quarter was no exception.
As management told us yesterday, the stellar metric for the quarter was a free cash flow number that jumped to $1.2 billion, from $368 million for the same quarter of 2007. Some will point to a 19% dip in capex as a cause of the free cash flow ramp-up, and they'll be right. But keep in mind that the company's operating cash flow was up nicely as well.
There were other achievements to like during the quarter, which is typically the softest of the year for the cable industry. For instance, digital cable subscriber additions rose by 320,000, and 43% of digital customers now take at least one advanced feature, such as a digital video recorder or high-definition service. And the company added nicely to its high-speed Internet and telephone subscriber lists, with 555,000 customers opting to receive phone service from Comcast.
So Comcast continues to set a high standard in the broadband group. Of course, when we hear from the likes of Time Warner Cable
It's also progressively more apparent that, with the general market at least temporarily unstable, Comcast offers investors calming consistency.
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