Budgeting, Planning & Forecasting

Budgeting, Planning & Forecasting

February 23, 2011

DIRECTV Celebrates Record Subscriber Interest for Fourth Quarter

DIRECTV is celebrating the best fourth quarter it has had in more than a decade with regards to subscriber interest.

Shares of the nation's largest satellite TV operator company rose $2.23, or 5 percent, to $46.46 in pre–market trading. If the stock holds on to the gains in regular trading, it will surpass the all–time high of $44.64, hit Tuesday, according to the company. From October to December last year, DIRECTV added a net 667,000 subscribers, which reflects its strong performance in both the U.S. and Latin America.

“Our fourth quarter results capped off one of DIRECTV's strongest years ever as we further extended our position as the world's largest provider of pay television services with over 28 million subscribers in the U.S. and Latin America," said Mike White, president and CEO of DIRECTV, in a statement. "Fueled by the best quarter in a decade with 667,000 consolidated net additions, DIRECTV added 1.9 million new subscribers in 2010 representing the second best year in our history.”

"We exit 2010 with good momentum and look to build on that in 2011 with a strategy designed to maintain our industry-leading revenue and earnings growth,” he added. “In the U.S., our strategy focuses on delivering the best television experience both inside and outside of the home, generating incremental revenue streams in key areas such as DIRECTV Cinema, commercial and local/addressable advertising, as well as capturing productivity improvements throughout our company.”

A year ago, DIRECTV added 119,000 subscribers and from October to December in 2010, it more than doubled that number by adding 289,000 subscribers in the U.S. That number exceeded analysts’ expectations that the company would attract around 250,000 individuals. At Latin American operations Sky Brazil and PanAmericana, DIRECTV added 378,000 subscribers, to reach 5.8 million.

So far, DIRECTV’s fourth quarter marks the strongest subscriber addition figure from a U.S. pay–TV company for the fourth quarter.

DIRECTV's net income was $618 million, or 74 cents per share. The satellite television service's earnings per share of 74 cents beat analysts' average estimate of 62 cents, according to Thomson-Reuters (News - Alert) I/B/E/S.

During the same period a year ago, DIRECTV experienced a loss of $32 million, or 3 cents per share, when it took charges related to a merger. Revenue grew 11 percent to $6.62 billion from $5.98 billion, beating the average analyst estimate of $6.52 billion.

Last year, DIRECTV teamed with Panasonic, a provider of digital and other electronics products, to introduce three new 3D channels including the Panasonic (News - Alert) powered n3D.

n3D, a linear TV channel, offers only 3D programming viewable on 3D TV sets like the Panasonic’s new VIERA Full HD 3D TVs. The channel is available at no additional cost to millions of DIRECTV HD customers on channel 103.

DIRECTV also announced its plans to launch DIRECTV Cinema in 3D on channel 104 and n3D On Demand on channel 105. Recently DIRECTV launched ESPN (News - Alert) 3D on channel 106.

Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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