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DirecTV Reports Near Tripling Of Q1 Earnings

El Segundo, Calif. – The

DirecTV Group

reported Thursday that it saw
first-quarter net income more than double on increased revenue and margins in
the period, although the rate of subscriber growth slowed from a year ago.

The satellite TV
service said it added 100,000 net new U.S. customers in the quarter, down
from last year’s 460,000, which saw an unusually large bump due to the nation’s
transition to an all-digital terrestrial broadcasting system.

DirecTV said it earned
$558 million in the quarter, ended March 31, up from $201 million. Revenue was
up 14 percent to $5.6 billion, from $4.9 billion a year ago.

Free cash flow more
than doubled to $1 billion.

The average
revenue per U.S.
subscriber rose 6.4 percent to $85.47, following price hikes and increased take
rates on high-definition TV and DVR services. The satellite operator also
benefitted from higher advertising sales and an extra week of revenue for its
NFL Sunday Ticket package.

Latin American
operations also saw a strong rise in revenue, up 30 percent to $779 million, as
the service added 221,000 customers in the quarter, up from 148,000.