DirecTV 1Q profit rises, but US subscribers down

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — DirecTV Inc. said Tuesday that its first-quarter net income rose 8.5 percent, driven by subscriber growth in Latin America. But the number of subscribers added in the U.S. declined.

The country's largest satellite broadcaster earned $731 million, or $1.07 per share, for the three months ended March 31. That's up from $674 million, or 85 cents per share, a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $1.05 per share.

Revenue rose 12 percent to $7.05 billion from $6.32 billion, topping Wall Street's $7.03 billion estimate.

The El Segundo, Calif., company added a net 593,000 subscribers in Latin America, up from 427,000 in the prior-year period. But the company was less profitable in the region because of the cost of signing up and providing services for those subscribers.

In the U.S., net subscriber gains fell to 81,000 from 184,000. Programming and general costs rose.

In total, DirecTV added 674,000 net subscribers from January through March. It ended the quarter with 8.5 million subscribers in Latin America and 20 million subscribers in the U.S.

Shares of DirecTV fell 79 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $47.11 in late morning trading. Over the past year, the stock has traded between $39.82 and $53.40.

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