Discovery’s betting that its acquisitions of overseas TV assets will pay off in the long run. But for now they require the company to do some explaining, as ad sales in local currencies are discounted when converted into U.S. dollars.
The programmer says today that in Q2 it generated net income of $286 million, down 24.5%, on revenues of $1.65 billion, up 2.7%. Analysts expected more: $1.87 billion was the consensus revenue forecast. Earnings at 44 cents a share also were short of the 48 cents the Street anticipated.
The company says that earnings would have hit 49 cents if you adjust for one-time amortization of intangible assets — and would have been 20% higher if you factor out the foreign currency exchange discount.
CEO David Zaslav was upbeat about the numbers, saying that “Discovery’s strong start to the year continued in the second quarter.,” But he urged investors to look ahead, citing “three landmark deals – the historic agreement for the Olympic Games in Europe, our agreement to acquire full ownership of Eurosport and our comprehensive long-term renewal with Comcast – that will bolster Discovery’s position and market share for years to come.”
Discovery’s U.S. networks reported a 7% gain in cash flow to $496 million with revenues up 5% to $814 million. Ad sales were flat, with higher prices making up for lower ratings. Payments from cable and satellite companies increased 12% to $357 million — but about half of that comes from the consolidation of Discovery Family, formerly a JV children’s channel with Hasbro called The Hub.
International Networks saw an 11% drop in cash flow to $266 million with revenues up 1% to $801 million — dropping the cash flow margin to 33% from 38%. Currency exchange slashed the dollar amounts by about 18%, the company says. As reported, ad sales fell 8% while distribution revenues increased 12%.