Discovery Communications Reports Third Quarter 2011 Results

SILVER SPRING, Md., Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Third Quarter 2011 Financial Highlights:

  • Revenues increased 18% to $1,095 million
  • Adjusted OIBDA increased 15% to $479 million
  • Net income from continuing operations increased to $238 million
  • Repurchased 9.8 million shares at an average price of $36.30 per share for an aggregate purchase price of $355 million

Discovery Communications, Inc. ("Discovery" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) today reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2011.  

David Zaslav, Discovery's President and Chief Executive Officer said, "The strength of Discovery's brands and the value of our content to consumers, distributors and advertisers alike were further demonstrated in our third quarter financial results.  The appeal of our programming allowed us to continue to take advantage of the sustained health of the global ad market and further leverage existing and emerging distribution platforms worldwide.  The breadth of our global distribution enables us to capitalize on the increasing penetration of traditional distribution models, while the diversity and appeal of our content allows us to strategically leverage evolving delivery methods.   We remain focused on generating sustained financial results while thoughtfully investing in our brands and platforms so that we can take advantage of new and existing distribution opportunities around the globe."

Third quarter revenues of $1,095 million increased $169 million, or 18%, over the third quarter a year ago, led by 19% growth at U.S. Networks and 19% growth at International Networks.  Adjusted Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization(1) ("OIBDA") grew 15% to $479 million, driven by a 9% increase at U.S. Networks and a 20% increase at International Networks.  The domestic results benefitted from significant additional licensing revenues under an extended and expanded licensing agreement.

Third quarter net income from continuing operations available to Discovery Communications, Inc. stockholders of $238 million ($0.59 per diluted share) increased $77 million compared to $161 million ($0.37 per diluted share) for the third quarter a year ago.  The current quarter results reflect the strong operating performance partially offset by higher taxes.

Free cash flow was $314 million for the third quarter, a decrease of $32 million from the third quarter of 2010, as the increased operating performance was more than offset by higher long-term incentive compensation and tax payments, as well as lower working capital.  Free cash flow is defined as cash provided by operating activities less acquisitions of property and equipment.  

(1) See the definition of Adjusted Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization on page 4.

SEGMENT RESULTS


(dollars in millions)

Three Months Ended September 30,


Nine Months Ended September 30,



2011



2010


Change



2011



2010


Change













Revenues:
















  U.S. Networks

$

695


$

585


19%


$

1,942


$

1,751


11%

  International Networks


363



304


19%



1,054



893


18%

  Education and Other


37



38


(3%)



117



108


8%

  Corporate and Eliminations




(1)


NM





6


NM

Total Revenues

$

1,095


$

926


18%


$

3,113


$

2,758


13%

















Adjusted OIBDA:
















  U.S. Networks

$

378


$

346


9%


$

1,107


$

1,018


9%

  International Networks


156



130


20%



473



384


23%

  Education and Other


3



1


200%



16



7


129%

  Corporate and Eliminations


(58)



(59)


2%



(180)



(171)


(5%)

Total Adjusted OIBDA

$

479


$

418


15%


$

1,416


$

1,238


14%




















U.S. Networks


(dollars in millions)

Three Months Ended September 30,


Nine Months Ended September 30,



2011



2010


Change



2011



2010


Change













Revenues:
















  Distribution

$

350


$

264


33%


$

898


$

790


14%

  Advertising


322



304


6%



973



899


8%

  Other


23



17


35%



71



62


15%

Total Revenues

$

695


$

585


19%


$

1,942


$

1,751


11%

















Adjusted OIBDA

$

378


$

346


9%


$

1,107


$

1,018


9%

















Adjusted OIBDA Margin


54%



59%





57%



58%






















U.S. Networks' revenues in the third quarter of 2011 increased 19% to $695 million primarily driven by distribution and advertising revenue growth.  Distribution revenue grew 33% largely from $77 million of additional licensing revenue driven by the delivery of selected library titles under an extended and expanded licensing agreement.  The current quarter results also included higher rates and subscriber growth primarily from networks carried on the digital tier, partially offset by $4 million due to the absence of Discovery Health following its contribution into the OWN joint venture on January 1, 2011. Advertising revenue increased 6% due to increased pricing and higher sellouts, partially offset by the absence of $15 million due to the removal of Discovery Health.  Excluding the additional revenue in the current year from the expanded licensing agreement, as well as Discovery Health from the 2010 results, advertising revenues grew 11% and distribution revenues grew 5% compared with the third quarter a year ago. 

Adjusted OIBDA increased 9% to $378 million primarily reflecting the 19% revenue growth partially offset by 33% higher operating expenses, which included an additional $24 million of content impairments versus the third quarter a year ago and $11 million in expenses associated with the expanded licensing agreement.  Excluding the higher content impairment charges and expenses associated with the expanded licensing agreement in the current year, as well as Discovery Health from the 2010 results, Adjusted OIBDA was in-line with a year ago as the revenue growth was offset by increased operating expenses primarily due to higher content amortization and marketing costs.

International Networks


(dollars in millions)

Three Months Ended September 30,


Nine Months Ended September 30,



2011



2010


Change



2011



2010


Change













Revenues:
















  Distribution

$

230


$

192


20%


$

665


$

573


16%

  Advertising


120



98


22%



354



286


24%

  Other


13



14


(7%)



35



34


3%

Total Revenues

$

363


$

304


19%


$

1,054


$

893


18%

















Adjusted OIBDA

$

156


$

130


20%


$

473


$

384


23%

















Adjusted OIBDA Margin


43%



43%





45%



43%






















International Networks' revenues for the third quarter increased 19% to $363 million primarily led by distribution revenue growth of 20% and advertising revenue growth of 22%.  Excluding the impact of foreign currency fluctuations, revenues increased 12% led by 13% distribution revenue growth, mainly from increased subscribers across all regions.  Advertising revenue in local currency terms was up 16% during the third quarter primarily from higher pricing across all regions, as well as expansion of feeds across Western Europe, Asia-Pacific and CEEMEA.

Adjusted OIBDA increased 20% to $156 million reflecting the 19% revenue growth, partially offset by a 19% increase in operating expenses.  Excluding the impact of foreign currency, Adjusted OIBDA increased 20% as the 12% revenue growth was partially offset by a 7% increase in operating expenses primarily due to higher content amortization and sales commissions.

Education and Other


(dollars in millions)

Three Months Ended September 30,


Nine Months Ended September 30,



2011



2010


Change



2011



2010


Change













Revenues

$

37


$

38


(3%)


$

117


$

108


8%

















Adjusted OIBDA

$

3


$

1


200%


$

16


$

7


129%

















Adjusted OIBDA Margin


8%



3%





14%



6%






















Education and Other third quarter revenues decreased $1 million, as increased Education revenue from growth in corporate partnerships and higher streaming volumes was offset by lower revenue from the Creative Sounds Services business.  Adjusted OIBDA increased $2 million compared to the third quarter of 2010 from a decrease in content expense and sales commissions.    

STOCK REPURCHASE

During the quarter, the Company pursuant to its existing stock repurchase program repurchased 9.79 million shares of its Series C common stock at an average price of $36.30 per share for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $355 million.  

From October 1, 2011 through October 31, 2011, the Company repurchased 2.71 million shares of its Series C common stock for approximately $101 million.

The Company has repurchased 25.86 million shares of Series C common stock under its $2.0 billion stock repurchase plan to date at an aggregate price of approximately $938 million.  Under the stock repurchase program, management is authorized to purchase shares from time to time through open market purchases at prevailing prices or privately negotiated transactions, subject to market conditions and other factors.

OTHER ITEMS

The Company has expanded the components of distribution revenue reported in its financial statements to include content arrangements and other subscription services for content.  Accordingly, prior period financial information has been reclassified so that the basis of the presentation is consistent with that of the 2011 financial information.  

FULL YEAR 2011 OUTLOOK

For the full year ending December 31, 2011, Discovery Communications, Inc. expects total revenue between $4,175 million and $4,250 million, Adjusted OIBDA between $1,925 million and $1,975 million, and net income available to Discovery Communications, Inc. stockholders of $1,025 million to $1,075 million.  Our outlook incorporates current foreign exchange rates for revenues and expenses and the current share price for mark-to-market stock-based compensation calculations.

NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES

Adjusted OIBDA and Free Cash Flow

In addition to the results prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") provided in this release, the Company has presented Adjusted OIBDA and free cash flow.  The Company evaluates the operating performance of its segments based on financial measures such as revenues and adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization ("Adjusted OIBDA"). Adjusted OIBDA is defined as revenues less costs of revenues and selling, general and administrative expenses excluding: (i) mark-to-market stock-based compensation, (ii) depreciation and amortization, (iii) amortization of deferred launch incentives, (iv) exit and restructuring charges, (v) certain impairment charges, and (vi) gains (losses) on business and asset dispositions. The Company uses this measure to assess operating results and performance of its segments, perform analytical comparisons, identify strategies to improve performance and allocate resources to each segment.  The Company believes Adjusted OIBDA is relevant to investors because it allows them to analyze the operating performance of each segment using the same metric management uses and also provides investors a measure to analyze the operating performance of each segment against historical data. The Company excludes mark-to-market stock-based compensation, exit and restructuring charges, certain impairment charges, and gains (losses) on business and asset dispositions from the calculation of Adjusted OIBDA due to their volatility or non-recurring nature. The Company also excludes depreciation of fixed assets and amortization of intangible assets and deferred launch incentive, as these amounts do not represent cash payments in the current reporting period.

The Company defines free cash flow as cash provided by operating activities less acquisitions of property and equipment.  The Company uses free cash flow as it believes it is an important indicator for management and investors of the Company's liquidity, including its ability to reduce debt, make strategic investments and return capital to stockholders.

Adjusted OIBDA and free cash flow are non-GAAP measures, and should be considered in addition to, but not as a substitute for, operating income, net income, cash flows provided by operating activities and other measures of financial performance reported in accordance with GAAP. Please review the supplemental financial schedules beginning on page 9 for reconciliations to GAAP measures.

Conference Call Information

Discovery Communications, Inc. will host a conference call today at 4:30 p.m. ET to discuss its third quarter results.  To listen to the call, visit http://www.discoverycommunications.com or dial 1-866-713-8565 inside the U.S. and 1-617-597-5324 outside of the U.S., using the following passcode: 30540780.

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements