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DirecTV First-Quarter Financials Rise, Sub Growth Slows

Mike White | DirectTV
Jonathan Fickies/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The satellite TV company, led by CEO Mike White, added 21,000 net new U.S. subscribers, down from 81,000 in the year-ago period.

Satellite TV giant DirecTV on Tuesday reported improved first-quarter financials but slower U.S. subscriber growth than in the year-ago period.

The company, led by president, chairman and CEO Mike White, posted quarterly earnings of $690 million, compared with $731 million in the year-ago quarter. But on an adjusted basis, earnings rose to $826 million. Revenue rose 8 percent to $7.58 billion. The financials handily exceeded Wall Street expectations.

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DirecTV said it signed up 21,000 net new U.S. subscribers, compared with 81,000 in the first quarter a year earlier. It ended March with 20.1 million U.S. subscribers.

The fast-growing DirecTV Latin America added 583,000 net new subscribers, compared with 593,000 in the year-ago period.

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Credit Suisse analyst Michael Senno summarized the U.S. trends this way: "Net adds light, profit strong." He had been looking for 30,000 U.S. net subscriber gains, while the Wall Street consensus had called for 25,000 subscriber additions.

"DirecTV delivered another strong quarter of operating and financial results," said White. "Our industry-leading revenue growth of 8 percent continues to be driven by the strength of our premier brands and popularity of our differentiated product and service offerings across the Americas, as well as our ability to profitably grow average revenue per user in a challenging U.S. operating environment."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai