DirecTV earnings rise 43% in Q1

DirecTV Group, the US' largest satellite TV operator, said its first-quarter profit rose 43% from a year ago as more subscribers signed on for high-profit offerings and fewer canceled their service, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report added that still, shares slipped as the earnings missed Wall Street expectations and analysts expressed concerns about increased competition from telecommunications companies such as Verizon Communications.

Net income climbed to $336.4 million in the three months ended March 31 from $235.2 million a year ago, the report said.

Revenue climbed 15% to $3.91 billion from $3.39 billion last year, it added.

The Associated Press report said the company, based in El Segundo, said its US average monthly revenue per subscriber rose to $73.40 from $69.75 a year ago, and the churn rate, a measure of customer defections, declined to 1.44% from 1.45% in the previous period.

Net subscriber additions for the US business totaled 235,000 in the latest quarter, compared with 255,000 a year ago, bringing its total subscriptions to 16.19 million, a 5% increase over the same period last year, the report said.

DirecTV sells its service in part through partnerships with telecommunications companies that can offer high-speed Internet and phone service as part of a bundle, the report said.