Discovery Ad Revs Get Small Uptick In U.S., Global Sees Double-Digit Gains

Discovery Communications’ U.S. advertising revenues moved up by mid-single percentage increases during the first quarter, with international ad business up by big double-digit gains.

Discovery U.S. networks' advertising business rose 5% to $373 million, which analyst Vasily Karasyov of Sterne Agee says was in line with estimates.

Discovery’s U.S. affiliate fees improved 4% to $319 million. But lower business from content production contracts/licensing agreements gave Discovery U.S. Networks only a 3% rise to $708 million overall in the quarter.

Now recognizing its purchase of SBS Nordic, Discovery doubled its international advertising business to $316 million -- up $152 million. Overall revenues climbed 51% to $671 million. Without the SBS Nordic acquisition, its international advertising business still gained a healthy 23% during the period due to higher viewership, increased pricing and local currency exchange.

Discovery’s education business climbed 19% to $32 million.

Overall revenues were up 22% to $1.4 billion for the company, with net income unchanged from the first quarter of 2013 at $231 million, mostly due to the purchase price of SBS Nordic.

Analysts viewed this as a mixed picture  -- believing overall revenues came in lower than estimates, while net income outpaced projections.

Discovery’s stock closed down nearly 4% to $74.71.

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