DTV Financial Results for Q1 2004

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On Tuesday DirecTV Group Inc. (CTV) Tuesday posted a wider first-quarter loss added a record amount of net new subscribers.

DTV, blamed the wider loss on a charge for the pending sale of its PanAmSat satellite unit.

Most analysts declined to revise existing guidance.


The DTV net loss widened to $639 million, or 46 cents a share, from $50.9 million, or 4 cents a share, a year earlier. Among the contributing factors was a noncash charge of $479 million from the pending sale of PanAmSat Corp. DTValso wrote off $311 million of previously capitalized deferred subscriber acquisition costs, due to an accounting change in 2004. This change also increased operating costs by $60 million.

The bad news was partially offset by several one-time gains including $387 million from the sale of shares of XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. which was sold to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. in April.

Revenue for the quarter rose 22 percent to $2.51 billion from $2 billion a year earlier.

The El Segundo, California, company added 460,000 net new subscribers to its satellite television service exceeding all Wall Street estimates.


DTV warns that subscriber acquisition costs will "dampen our short-term earnings and cash flow." Average revenue per subscriber, a closely tracked metric, grew 8 percent to $63.60.

The rate of subscriber defection, or churn, fell to 1.4 percent, the lowest rate in four years, the company said.
 

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