Biz Services Supercharge Cable's Q1

May 22, 2013
Business services have been a highlight of operator financials of late, with many reporting gains, while at the same time attributing capital expenditures to expansion on this front. Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), for example, tallied first quarter revenue from busi...
Business services have been a highlight of operator financials of late, with many reporting gains, while at the same time attributing capital expenditures to expansion on this front.Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), for example, tallied first quarter revenue from business services of $741 million, which represents a 27.5% increase over the year-ago quarter. The company's cable expenditures grew 3.6% compared to the first quarter of 2012, totaling $1.1 billion, with business services cited as one of three primary drivers.At Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), business services brought in $537 million during the quarter, a 25.2% increase over last year's quarter. The company pointed out in its earnings release that employee costs have gone up, in part due to the need to hire more people to accommodate the burgeoning business services sector.Bringing these numbers to life are a flood of business decisions, so to speak, announced this spring.Comcast, for example, will provide business Ethernet, trunks and hospitality HDTV for five of Raymond Management's hotels in Chicago and two in Ann Arbor, MI. The operator also won the Ethernet business of PBS Coals, the fourth largest coal producer in Pennsylvania, and of Utz Quality Foods.In an altruistic yet savvy move, Bright House Networks donated a 200 Mbps fiber dedicated Internet access connection to Tampa Bay WaVE, which helps entrepreneurs grow technology ventures. The non-profit currently has 100 technology startup members.On the investment side, Comcast said it is expanding its network in Portsmouth, NH, to be able to extend its Ethernet, Internet, voice and video services to the 250 businesses in the Pease International Tradeport.Two Canadian operators made news recently, too. Shaw Communications (NYSE:SJR) completed its acquisition of ENMAX Envision for $225 million, while Rogers Communications (TSE:RCI) purchased BLACKIRON Data, a data center and cloud computing services company. Both were moves designed to help extend business reach.And, perhaps further illustrating that operators mean ... well ... business, TWC created a new position - EVP and COO for business services. The company filled the spot with Cox Business veteran Philip Meeks. His role will be to lead TWC's business unit, which serves more than a half-million customers and accounts for 6,000 employees.Monta Monaco Hernon is a free-lance writer. She can be reached at [email protected].

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