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Comcast sees earnings rise

Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest cable operator, on Wednesday reported a 38 percent increase in third-quarter earnings as a sharp drop in capital spending and higher cable TV rates buoyed its bottom line.

Bucking the trend among cash-strapped companies, Comcast also said it expects to exceed its free cash flow growth forecast of at least 20 percent in fiscal 2008.

Brian Roberts, chief executive, said in a conference call with analysts that the company has adequate financial reserves to weather the current economic crisis.

In the quarter, Comcast earned $771 million, or 26 cents per share, compared with $560 million, or 18 cents, a year ago.