DirecTV Shares In Flux As Investors Weigh Impact Of Venezuela Currency Devaluation

DAVID LIEBERMAN, Executive Editor
February 14, 2013
DirecTV Stock Up After It Trounces Q1 Earnings Estimates

The stock opened the day up 3.3% after the satellite company announced strong Q4 results and a $4B share repurchase plan. But the stock price has dropped since then to -3.3 at mid-afternoon as investors grappled with the implications of Venezuela’s decision this week to devalue its currency by 32% — which will lead DirecTV to take a $160M charge this quarter. “We think investor focus remains on the Venezuelan devaluation and the prospect of further Argentinian devaluation to the company’s growth prospects in U.S. dollars,” says ISI Media’s Vijay Jayant. That’s too bad for the company because its Q4 numbers were strong. It generated net income of $948M, +31.1% vs the same quarter in 2011, on revenues of $8.05B, +7.9%. Revenues were slightly ahead of the Street’s forecast for $8.03B. Earnings per share, at $1.55, were way ahead of expectations for $1.13. In the U.S., revenues were +5% to $6.32B with operating income +6% to $1.02B. DirecTV ended the year with 20.1M subscribers, an increase of 103,000. In Latin America, revenues were up 22% to $1.67B with operating profit of $261M, +18.6%. It had 10.3M subscribers, up 658,000. CEO Mike White says that the company “furthered our lead as the world’s largest and most popular provider of Pay TV video services with over 35M subscribers and growing rapidly.” He told analysts that DirecTV has “always managed Venezuela to be self-funding.”

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