DirecTV Reports Third-Quarter Subscriber Loss

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The company, led by CEO Mike White, earlier this year agreed to be acquired by AT&T

DirecTV reported lower third-quarter earnings on Thursday amid subscriber losses.

The satellite TV giant, led by CEO Mike White, lost 28,000 U.S. TV customers in the period, compared with a gain of 139,000 subscribers in the year-ago quarter and a loss of 34,000 in the second quarter. Analysts had mostly forecast a slight subscriber gain. It ended September with a total U.S. subscriber base of 20.2 million.

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DirecTV Latin America lost 119,000 subscribers, compared with a year-ago gain of 260,000.

Quarterly revenue grew 6 percent to $8.37 billion. Earnings of $611 million, or $673 million when excluding a $62 million charge tied to the company's unit in Venezuela driven by currency impacts, compared with $699 million in the year-ago period.

DirecTV earlier this year agreed to be acquired by telecom giant AT&T for $48.5 billion. The deal was struck after cable giant Comcast agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable for $45 billion.

Read more Cablevision Loses Subscribers in Third Quarter

“In the U.S., although competition for subscribers continues to be intense, revenue growth was very solid while operating profit before depreciation and amortization margin expanded year-over-year for the fifth consecutive quarter, highlighting our commitment to profitably grow our businesses through disciplined subscriber acquisitions and expense management, as well as smart pricing," said White. "In Latin America, due to challenging macroeconomic and foreign exchange headwinds, we continue to focus on local currency performance, which has allowed us to profitably grow our businesses, as well as begin generating positive cash flow in the region — one of our primary goals for the year.”

Twitter: @georgszalai