DirecTV Posts Higher Fourth-Quarter Earnings, Tops 20 Million U.S. Subs

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Satellite TV giant DirecTV on Thursday reported higher fourth-quarter financials and said it crossed the 20 million subscriber mark despite slower customer growth.

The company, led by president, CEO and chairman Mike White, posted an earnings increase of 31 percent to $942 million. Revenue rose 8 percent to $8.05 billion. The figures exceeded Wall Street estimates.

The pay TV company signed up 103,000 net new U.S. subscribers, down from 125,000 in the year-ago period. That brought DirecTV's total U.S. subscriber base to more than 20.08 million. The firm is the second-largest U.S. pay TV operator behind Comcast, which earlier this week reported that it ended 2012 with 21.995 million video subscribers.

For the full year 2012, U.S. net subscriber additions of 199,000 were down from 662,000 in 2011 amid tougher competition and a focus by the company to sign up high-quality customers.

In Latin America, it added 658,000, up from 590,000 in the same quarter last year. That brought the total user base to nearly 10.33 million.

"Our solid fourth-quarter consolidated results capped off another year of impressive revenue, earnings and cash flow growth," said White. "Strong consumer demand for DirecTV's diversified portfolio of businesses across the Americas fueled the largest annual net subscriber gain in our history with nearly 3.8 million net customers added, including Sky Mexico. As a result, we furthered our lead as the world's largest and most popular provider of pay TV video services with over 35 million subscribers and growing rapidly."

He added: "We exit 2012 with good momentum as we continue to successfully execute on our long-term strategy to drive sustainable profitable growth across the Americas while also significantly advancing DirecTV's service oriented culture by winning our customers' loyalty for life."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

 

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