Company earned $155 million in the quarter

SILVER SPRING, Md. – (AP) Discovery Communications Inc. posted a 46 percent jump in fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday, taking in more money from the cable providers that run its channels as well as advertising.

Discovery, which operates the Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, said it earned $155 million, or 36 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31. That’s up from $106 million, or 25 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue climbed 7 percent to $964 million.

The profit matched what analysts expected, while sales topped the average forecast of $942.5 million, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

Discovery’s international networks posted the strongest gains. Revenue in the segment was up 22 percent, helped by foreign currency swings and growth in advertising and cable fees.

Revenue at the company’s U.S. networks, which make up more than half of the company’s total, climbed 3 percent.

For 2010, Discovery projected full-year earnings of $660 million to $725 million and revenue of $3.63 billion to $3.75 billion. Analysts are expecting $3.72 billion in revenue. The company did not offer a forecast for earnings per share.

Full-year earnings for 2009 came to $552 million, or $1.30 per share, up 74 percent from $317 million, or 85 cents per share, the year before. Revenue climbed 2 percent to $3.52 billion from $3.44 billion.

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