The good news for Discovery Communications: Its first quarter revenue increased over last year, up 22 percent to $1.4 billion.
The bad news: So did its costs, and for that reason, its net income slipped to $230 million compared to $231 million for the same quarter last year. Earnings per share missed estimates, hitting 66 cents instead of the 71 cents predicted by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
The culprit? For the most part, costs incurred for acquisitions like SBS Nordic. Still, that key acquisition led to a spike in international revenue to $671 million, or a 51 percent increase over last year.
David Zaslav, the networks’ president and CEO, was optimistic in a statement about the earnings, which indicated a five percent increase in ad sales.
“Discovery’s strong organic growth continued during the first quarter as our unparalleled global reach and sustained investment in diverse and engaging content allowed us to capitalize on the growing demand for pay-tv programming worldwide,” he said. “The larger audiences and consistent market share gains we are delivering are driving sustained financial results, even as we further invest in our platforms and integrate strategic acquisitions that will enhance our long-term growth prospects. As we look to the remainder of 2014, leveraging the significant opportunities across our existing asset portfolio remains our priority so we can maintain our financial momentum while further building long-term shareholder value.”