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DirecTV Profit Rises in Q2, as World Cup Gives Latin America a Kick

DirecTV topped Wall Street earnings estimates for the second quarter of 2014, with coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in particular helping to boost results for its Latin America business.

Overall revenue of $8.1 billion for the period was up 5%, slightly over analyst estimates of $8.0 billion, while net income increased 22% to $806 million due to the higher operating profit, more favorable foreign currency exchange rates and other one-time benefits. Adjusted earnings per share of $1.59 excluding one-time items beat estimates of $1.53 per share.

“We continue to extend our position as the world’s largest pay -TV service with industry-leading growth by leveraging the strength of our premier brands and distinctive products and service offerings throughout the Americas,” said Mike White, president and CEO of DirecTV, adding that the Latin America segment’s results highlight “the tremendous success of our unparalleled FIFA World Cup coverage.”

DirecTV is in the process of being acquired by AT&T, a deal announced in May after Comcast proposed its takeover of Time Warner Cable. AT&T’s merger with DirecTV, pending regulatory reviews, is expected to close in mid-2015.

In the U.S., DirecTV lost 34,000 subscribers in the second quarter, which is historically weak for the pay-TV biz, to stand at 20.23 million as of the June. That loss was lower than Wall Street expectations, and an improvement from the 84,000 subscribers the satcaster shed in Q2 2013.

Revenue for the U.S. climbed 5.5%, to $6.3 billion, driven by an increase in the average revenue per subscriber, from $98.73 per month in the year-earlier period to a record-high $103.26 for the most recent quarter.

DirecTV Latin America posted revenue of $1.79 billion, up 6.1% year over year. The DTVLA division owns 93% of Sky Brasil, 41% of Sky Mexico and 100% of PanAmericana. Sky Mexico, whose results are accounted for separately from DirecTV consolidated results, had approximately 6.36 million subscribers as of the end of June bringing the total subscribers in the region to 18.83 million. Excluding Sky Mexico, DirecTV Latin America added a net 543,000 subs to reach 12.47 million.

In Brazil, which played host to the World Cup, Sky Brasil added a net 137,000 customers in the period — growth the company attributed primarily to the soccer tournament — versus a loss of 80,000 in the second quarter of 2013.

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