Despite modest U.S. subscriber growth and investing heavily in Latin America, DirecTV reported Tuesday that its first-quarter earnings rose 8.5 percent.
The satellite broadcaster had a profit of $731 million, or $1.07 per share, in line with analysts' expectations. A year earlier, the company reported a profit of $874 million, or 85 cents a share for the same period.
Revenue was up 12 percent to $7.05 billion from $6.32 billion, topping Wall Street's $7.03 billion estimate. The bottom line was aided by DirecTV's share-repurchase program, which brought in $1.26 billion in the first quarter. Operating profit was up to $1.31 billion.
Total subscribers in the U.S. were at 19.97 million for the quarter, up from 19.4 million a year earlier. Net subscriber gains fell to 81,000 from 184,000.
The company added 593,000 subscribers in Latin America, up from 427,000 a year ago. Its free cash flow in the region fell to $34 million from $76 million a year ago as the company invested in equipment and launch costs. It reported 8.46 million subscribers in the region, a 36% jump from the year earlier.
Shares of DirecTV were off $1.09, or 2.1 percent, to $46.86 in late morning trading.