Satellite television provider DirecTV Group, Inc. (NYSE: DTV) posted a 43 percent rise in its first quarter profit on Wednesday, driven by a higher subscriber count and high-definition services, but missed analysts expectations.
It said net income in for the quarter rose to $336.4 million, or 27 cents per share, from $235.2 million, or 17 cents per a year earlier. Revenue rose 15 percent to $3.91 billion versus $3.39 billion in the same period a year ago.
Analysts, on average, had expected earnings of 30 cents per share, according to a poll by Thompson Financial.
Subscribers to the No. 1 U.S satellite provider grew by 235,000, the company said in a statement. Last year the firm added 255,000 subscribers. DirecTV now has 16.19 million subscribers, and increase of 5 percent over the 15.39 million reported during the same period a year ago.
The El Segundo, Calif.-based firm also achieved the lowest churn-rate, or percentage of customers leaving the service, in three years.
Increased sales of high-definition and digital video recorders were also boosting revenue, the company said.
It's very exciting to see the strong demand for HD services, particularly considering the fact that we plan to greatly expand our HD programming later this year,â€ said Chase Carey, president and CEO of DirecTV
The company said it remains on schedule to offer up to 100 HD channels by the end of this year.
Shares of the satellite company were up 2 cents, or 0.08 percent to $24.38 in pre-market trading on the New York Stock Exchange.