Shares are up in pre-market trading as the satellite company performed well in Q4, with a lot of help from Latin America. DirecTV had net income of $718M in the year-end quarter, up 16.2% vs the period in 2010, on revenues of $7.5B, up 12,7%. The revenue figure slightly beat the $7.4B that the Street anticipated. Earnings at $1.02 a share were well ahead of the 92 cents forecast. At the main business, the U.S. satellite service, revenues were up 9% to $6B as rate increases and higher sales of NFL Sunday Ticket subscriptions outweighed the growing number of discounts DirecTV offered to new customers. The company ended the year with 19.9M domestic subscribers, up 3% vs the end of 2010. The net addition of 125,000 customers in the quarter represents a sharp retreat from the period last year when DirecTV added 289,000 U.S. subscribers. At the Latin American operation — which includes large stakes in Sky Brazil, Sky Mexico, and PanAmericana — DirecTV generated revenue of nearly $1.4B, up 33%. It attributes growth to the growing pace of customer additions: The unit had nearly 7.9M subscribers at the end of the year, up 35.5% from the end of 2010. But investors may be more interested in DirecTV’s new plan to repurchase $6B of its shares. CEO Mike White says that effort, plus other growth plans, “will create significant shareholder value as we remain on track to achieve or exceed our $5 EPS target in 2013.”
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