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