DirecTV 4Q Tops Forecasts on U.S., Latin America Subscriber Adds

By Features FOXBusiness

Boosted by new subscribers in Latin America and the U.S., DirecTV (DTV) beat the Street on Thursday by logging a 16% jump in fourth-quarter profits.

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The No. 1 U.S. satellite TV provider said it earned $718 million, or $1.02 a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $618 million, or 74 cents a share, the year before. Analysts had been forecasting EPS of 92 cents.

Revenue jumped 13% to $7.46 billion, narrowly surpassing estimates for $7.41 billion. U.S. sales rose 9% to $6.03 billion. Operating margins expanded to 16.3% from 16%.

“Our fourth quarter results capped off another strong year of industry leading growth as we further extended our position as the world’s largest provider of pay television services with nearly 32 million subscribers in the U.S. and Latin America,” CEO Mike White said in a statement.

DirecTV said it added 125,000 net new subscribers in the U.S., ending the fourth quarter with 19.89 million total subscribers, up 3% from the year before. For the year, the company added a record 4.3 million U.S. customers and 662,000 on a net basis.

The company said revenue soared 33% to $1.37 billion in its Latin America segment, which includes its PanAmericana business, majority ownership of Sky Brazil and 41% stake in Sky Mexico. DirecTV said net additions leaped 56% to a record 590,000, highlighted by gross additions of 965,000.

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DirecTV also revealed plans to buy back up to $6 billion of its own stock and said it remains on track to meet or exceed its 2013 EPS target of $5.00.

Shares of DirecTV fell 0.60% to $46.02 Thursday morning. The stock was up just over 8% on the year as of Wednesday’s close.