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DirecTV Stock Up On Strong Q4

Shares Rise 2.5% As Satellite Giant Beats Expectations 2/20/2014 10:35 AM Eastern

DirecTV stock rose more than 2% ($1.85 per share) to $74.79 each in early trading Thursday, as the satellite giant reported fourth quarter results that were largely ahead of analysts’ consensus estimates.

Overall revenue was up 7% to $32 billion in the quarter and operating profit before depreciation and amortization rose 8% to $8.1 billion. In the U.S., results mirrored the overall performance of the company, with revenue up 7% to $6.8 billion and OPBDA rising 8% to $1.5 billion.

“Our fourth quarter results capped off another solid year for DirecTV, as we finished the year with nearly 38 million customers across the Americas, maintaining our standing as the world’s largest and most popular video service,” DirecTV chairman and CEO Mike White said in a statement, adding that the results demonstrate “our commitment to profitably grow our businesses while keeping a sharp eye on cost management and productivity improvements.”

In the U.S., DirecTV added about 93,000 net new customers in the period to finish the period with 20.25 million customers, ahead of analysts’ consensus estimates of 74,000 additions. Average monthly subscriber churn at 1.41% was 2 basis points better than last year and 3 basis points better than consensus and average monthly revenue per customer was up a strong 6% in the period to $111.74, soundly beating consensus by 180 basis points.

Latin American operational growth was slower than expected, with net new subscriber additions at 231,000, almost a third lower than the 658,000 net new additions last year. Churn at 2.21% was 46 basis points higher than last year. But the company managed to beat consensus estimates on ARPU -- $51.47 vs. estimates of $49.76  -- and OPBDA margins at 31.1% were better than the 29.5% the unit reported in the same period last year.

DirecTV is scheduled to hold a conference call with analysts today at 2 p.m.