Discovery Communications' profit misses Wall Street view

Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:18am EST
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By Jennifer Saba

(Reuters) - Discovery Communications Inc reported a bigger-than-expected drop in quarterly earnings, overshadowing a rise in advertising sales at its cable channels.

Discovery said on Thursday that fourth-quarter net income fell 33 percent to $224 million, or 61 cents per share. Analysts on average were expecting 76 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of Discovery fell 2.4 percent to $69.78 in morning trading.

The company attributed the decline to higher taxes, equity-based compensation and costs due to its acquisitions, such as Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG's 12 Nordic television stations for $1.7 billion.

Still, the company, whose cable networks include Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, said total revenue rose 8 percent to $1.2 billion, in line with analysts' expectations.

Discovery forecast 2013 revenue of $5.58 billion to $5.70 billion. Analysts are expecting $5.43 billion.

The company's partnership with entertainment mogul Oprah Winfrey in the OWN Network - a high-profile and expensive joint venture - is on track, executives said on a call with analysts.

"Oprah is doing a great job," said Discovery Chief Executive Officer David Zaslav. "Everything is moving in the right direction."   Continued...