Discovery Profit Drops Nearly A Quarter


Proving that the cable business isn’t immune to the economic downturn, Discovery Communication profits fell 22.4 percent to $101 million from $134 million, missing analysts’ estimates. Revenues were up a slight 1.1 percent to $854 million. The 5 percent growth among U.S. networks was partially offset by a 2 percent decline at international networks, which the cable network attributed to currency fluctuations. The sale of 50 percent of the Discovery Kids network resulted in about $160 million in taxes. Ad sales in Q4 are expected to remain “flat to slightly-positive.”

Earnings release | Webcast (4:30 PM EDT)

3Q 2009 3Q 2008 Estimate
EPS $0.22 $0.44 $0.27
Net Income $101M $134B
Revenue $854M $845M $850M

For the remainder of the year, Discovery expects to invest about $40- to $50 million in its joint partnership with Oprah Winfrey on the OWN network, which has had a number of executive additions and is expected to launch in 2010.

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