The company’s earnings reports are becoming complicated as Discovery folds in overseas properties including SBS Nordic. Still, investors who measure the results vs. expectations may be disappointed this morning. Discovery reported Q1 net income of $230M, just a hair lower than $231M in the period last year, on revenues of $1.41B, +22%. Analysts expected $1.43B from the top line. Earnings at 66 cents a share missed the consensus forecast for 71 cents. At the U.S. Networks cash flow increased 2% to $383M on revenues of $708M, +3%. Ad sales increased 5%, roughly in line with expectations, but distribution revenue at $319M, +4%, may raise questions among those who expected better. Discovery says that operating expenses rose 5% “due to increased marketing costs” in a quarter when it rebranded the Military Channel, now called the American Heroes Channel. Numbers at the International Networks business will catch people’s eyes with cash flow +18% to $221M on revenues of $671M, +51%. Much of that reflects the addition of SBS Nordic. Ad sales increased 108% to $316M, but if you factor out the acquisition they were up 23% in local currency terms. Distribution revenues, reported +23% to $338M, would come in at a more modest +10% without SBS Nordic. Discovery predicts that its full-year revenues could go as high as $6.625B, with net income possibly hitting $1.3B.
“As we look to the remainder of 2014, leveraging the significant opportunities across our existing asset portfolio remains our priority so we can maintain our financial momentum while further building long-term shareholder value,” CEO David Zaslav says.