Media Giant Comcast Poised For Bigger Annual Growth


Any company can have a good quarter now and then. It's also key to see consistent, long-term growth.

Comcast ( CMCSA ) has delivered on both counts. It has posted double-digit percentage growth in EPS for several years, and it's expected to score another big gain this year.

Helped by its purchase of a majority stake in media powerhouse NBC Universal in early 2011, as well as strength in its cable business, Comcast's earnings climbed 22% last year. That's up from 21% growth in 2011 and 18% in 2010.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters see 2013 profit rising 23% to $2.38 a share. The estimate was recently revised higher.

Last month, Comcast announced that it was buying the remaining 49% stake in NBCU fromGeneral Electric ( GE ) for $16.7 billion. The deal is expected to close at the end of the first quarter.

In addition to growth initiatives, the company also recently unveiled plans to return cash to shareholders. Comcast hiked its annual dividend by 20% to 78 cents a share. The stock has a yield of about 1.9%. Comcast has the second-lowest yield among its peers, but it has one of the better Composite Ratings.

The company will pay a quarterly installment of 19.5 cents a share April 24 to shareholders of record on April 3.

Comcast recently found support at its 10-week moving average and is moving sideways. The stock is close to completing a flat base with a 42.10 buy point. Friday's close will mark a full five weeks.

At the end of the fourth quarter, 2,273 U.S. funds owned Comcast shares, up from 1,995 funds three quarters ago. Leading growth funds such as the Fidelity Contra and the Fidelity Balanced own shares. Fidelity Contra recently added to its position.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ, Inc.

This article appears in: Personal Finance , Investing Ideas

Referenced Stocks: CMCSA , GE

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