Strong Internatonal Ad Sales Power Discovery’s Earnings

The owner of cable networks such as the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet records an 11 percent increase in revenue and above-expectation profits

Discovery Communications Inc. narrowly bested investor expectations for its second quarter thanks to strong advertising numbers and growth in distribution revenue, especially on the international side.

Discovery, which owns cable networks such as the Discovery Channel, TLC and the Animal Planet, netted $254 million in profit, which is a 20 percent increase over the same period – or 70 percent if one-time figures are included. Discovery made large debt payments that lowered its reported numbers in last year’s Q2.

That profit comes out to $0.62 per share, which is a penny more than expected.

In terms of revenue, the company raked in $1.07 billion, an increase of 11 percent as compared to the second quarter last year. Discovery’s international networks were the big winners, growing revenue by 20 percent. U.S. networks increased by six percent.

“Discovery continues to deliver strong financial results, particularly across our unique international platform, as the depth and breadth of our content assets have enabled the company to capitalize on the sustained ad market strength worldwide as well as take advantage of the evolution of pay-tv across the globe,” President and CEO David Zaslav said in a statement.

Ad revenue grew much faster internationally as well, rising 25 percent instead of the 10 in the U.S.

These results led Discovery to raise its revenue forecast for the year, but slightly reduce its earnings forecast.

It also announced a $1 billion dollar stock buyback for its investors.