Discovery Communications Inc. reported earnings for the first quarter before the market opened on Tuesday that fell shy of Wall Street expectations. The media company reported net income of $215 million, or 37 cents, for the quarter, down from $263 million, or 42 cents during the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came in at 41 cents, below FactSet's consensus of 50 cents. Discovery said total revenue hit $1.61 billion during the quarter, an improvement compared with $1.56 billion in revenue, but just below FactSet's $1.63 billion revenue consensus. The media sector has been hit recently by softer advertising revenues and renewed fears of cord-cutting across the board. Discovery's advertising revenue was flat year-over-year. The company said advertising revenue at its U.S. networks rose 1% due primarily to higher pricing. And while distribution revenue at Discovery's U.S. networks grew 5%, it was partly offset by a decline in subscribers. Shares of Discovery were inactive in premarket trade, but have declined less than 1% in the year to date and more than 3% in the prior 12-month period. By comparison, the S&P 500 index has gained more than 7% in the year and almost 17% in the last 12 months.
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