Comcast said its fourth-quarter earnings fell 32 percent as the nation's largest cable operator recorded a $600 million write-down of its investment in WiMAX operator Clearwire. The write down on the Clearwire investment wasn't a surprise, and other Clearwire investors Google, Intel and Time Warner have already taken similar charges against their earnings.
The cable operator's revenue, however was helped by Comcast's video business. The company earned $412 million, or 14 cents per share, compared with $602 million, or 20 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.
During its earnings call, Comcast executives said they are still excited about the company's investment in Clearwire and that the deal gives the cable operator "piece parts to begin to try out some wireless offerings." Comcast plans to offer its first services later this year. The operator added that its cable is the best network in the home as customer demand for mobile TV and high definition streaming comes to fruition. "We are partnering with Clearwire to see where wireless goes so we have permanent access, and to see what gets built with that 100 megahertz of spectrum," an executive said.
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