If cable was looking for a bang for the start of 3Q reporting season, Comcast provided a whole barrel of fireworks Thurs. “I’ve been with Comcast now for more than 8 years, and during that time we’ve had 32 earnings calls, and some of them have been pretty good,” said COO Steve Burke. “However, out of 32 quarters, I would have to say this one is the best.” CEO Brian Roberts declared the cable biz healthier than ever. Wall St agreed, with shares closing up 3.2%, hitting a new 52-week high. Roberts called the results a possible inflection point for the industry; Charter then blasted through to a new 52-week high, closing at $2.12/share. Comcast’s only possible blemish (and it was a slight one) were unanswered risk questions over the MSO’s acquisition strategy (there’s some noise over a possible Yahoo or Sprint purchase). Roberts wouldn’t comment on any specific scenarios but said the company is in a good strategic position. “We don’t feel we have to buy in all cases or in many cases,” he said, adding that Comcast’s Internet div would come out with products in the next 12 months exploiting some of the trends (video, community, cross-platform). “I like where we’re at.” Once again, the triple-play starred in the show, averaging a $120 ARPU. For historic Comcast systems, basic adds were 24K, digital 550K, data 460K and VoIP 469K. Throw in the Adelphia and Time Warner systems, and the sub totals change to 10K, 558K, 536K and 483K, respectively. The MSO’s net income totaled $1.22bln vs $222mln a year ago (profits were $548mln without after-tax gains). Rev climbed 22% to $6.43bln.[Editor’s note: For more on Comcast’s earnings, check out our take on Cable360 at http://www.cable360.net/business/deals/20446.html]

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