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Discovery posts higher first-quarter results, sees revs above view

The Discovery Communications headquarters building is seen in Silver Spring, Maryland December 3, 2009. REUTERS/Brad Bower
The Discovery Communications headquarters building is seen in Silver Spring, Maryland December 3, 2009. REUTERS/Brad Bower

(Reuters) - Discovery Communications Inc posted higher revenue and profit in the first quarter as its cable television networks grabbed better U.S. and international ratings, and forecast annual revenue above estimates.

The owner of the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet cable networks said on Tuesday that revenue rose 6.5 percent to $1.156 billion. Analysts expected $1.51 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income increased to $231 million, or 63 cents per share, from $221 million, or 57 cents per share, a year ago. It missed Wall Street estimates by a penny.

Advertising revenue at its U.S. networks rose 8.2 percent to $356 million. Its U.S. distribution revenue fell 8.6 percent to $308 million.

International networks revenue increased 17 percent to $444 million as it boosted both advertising and distribution sales. The company said it increased subscribers in Latin America.

The company expects revenue this year to be in the range of $5.575 billion to $5.70 billion, which would be higher than the $5.458 billion that analysts expect, on average.

(Reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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