(By Balachander) Brean Murray, Carret & Co. analyst Todd Mitchell continue to see Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA) as a relative outperformer and said the company is clearly finding stronger results from NBCU illusive.
Mitchell reiterated his "Buy" rating on the shares of CMCSA based on an outlook for relative outperformance of core cable operations, stronger operating results and belief that Comcast should be able to improve profitability from NBCU, and relatively low overall leverage and stable and growing capital returns.
The analyst, who has a price target of $35 on the stock, wrote Comcast is benefitting from its strong video service profile and cable segment trends remain solid.
Mitchell believes Comcast should be able to offset some of the weakness at NBCU with upside from Cable segment results. As a result, the analyst maintains his 2012 consolidated EPS estimate of $1.90 despite trimming his EPS estimate for 2Q12 to $0.48 from $0.50.
The analyst lowered his 2Q12 revenue and OCF estimates for NBCU following disappointing results from two of its biggest film releases of the year, Battleship and Snow White, and recent comments from management that NBCU OCF would be flat-to-down for 1H12 despite strong gains in 1Q12.
Mitchell now expects 2Q12 NBCU revenue of $5.48 billion, down from his prior estimate of $5.76 billion, and a 1 percent drop from $5.55 billion in 2Q11. The analyst also reduced his 2Q12 NBCU OCF estimate to $890 million from $1.05 billion, a 23 percent drop from $1.16 billion in 2Q11.
Comcast shares, which have been trading in the 52-week range of $19.19 to $31.65, are trading 1.24 percent lower at $30.45 on Monday.