DirecTV Revs Grow, Subscriber Growth Slows In Q4

Investors liked DirecTV's fourth-quarter financial results, which grew strongly for its U.S. and Latin American markets. Early-day trading witnessed DirecTV’s stock up 3% to $75.07. Both earnings per share and revenue results easily beat analysts estimates.

Revenue in the fourth quarter of 2013 climbed 7% to $6.8 billion, with U.S. operations up 6% to $24.7 billion and its Latin American business adding on 10% to $6.8 billion for the entire year.

DirecTV also said it would make a $3.5 billion stock buyback.

Analysts have been musing over what effect the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger would have on DirecTV stock -- and that of its competitor Dish Network, which has been talked about as a possible merger partner with DirecTV for some time.

Net income sank to $810 million from $942 million -- this due to unfavorable comparisons to the period before, where it had a $111 million pre-tax gain. But cash flow -- earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and depreciation -- grew 33% to $1.5 billion.

DirecTV U.S. net subscribers grew at a slower rate during the fourth quarter -- 93,000 versus 103,000. The company had better news with more money per consumer -- a higher average revenue per unit (ARPU) -- up 6.3% to $111.74. DirecTV ended 2013 with 20.25 million subscribers, up 1% over a year ago.

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