The stock is down slightly in pre-market trading after the No. 1 satellite company issued a Q1 earnings report that seems to justify the cases for both bulls and bears. DirecTV generated net income of $741M, up 8.5% vs the period last year, on revenues of $7.05B, up 11.5%. Analysts expected revenues to be just a little higher, at $7.06B. But earnings of $1.07 a share were a penny ahead of forecasts. DirecTV ended the period with nearly 20M U.S. subscribers, up 81,000. Analysts were looking for a jump closer to 86,000 — and some were as high as 115,000. That would still be down from early 2011, when DirecTV added 184,000 customers. The picture was brighter in Latin America, where the company added 593,000 subs for a total of 8.5M. DirecTV says that earnings were tempered by increasing programming costs, along with increased spending to retain U.S. customers. CEO Mike White says that “our industry leading revenue and earnings growth continues to be driven by the strength of our premier brands, popularity of our differentiated product and service offerings, and an enhanced focus on achieving operational excellence through effective cost management.”
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