SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Discovery Communications Inc., the operator of cable TV channels Discovery, TLC and Animal Planet, said Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income rose 29 percent as revenue from advertising rose.
But Discovery's earnings outlook for 2014 fell below Wall Street expectations, and its shares fell
The company also announced a $1.5 billion increase in its stock buyback program, bringing its total program to $5.5 billion.
Discovery said net income rose to $289 million, or 81 cents per share, in three months ending Dec. 31. That compares with net income of $224 million, or 61 cents per share, a year ago.
Adjusted to remove one-time items, the company had earnings of 92 cents per share. That's above the 90 cents per share analysts expected, according to FactSet.
Revenue rose 28 percent to $1.54 billion from $1.20 billion. Analysts expected revenue of $1.55 billion. Most of that growth was from advertising revenue, which jumped 40 percent to $817 million.
For the full year, Discovery reported net income of $1.08 billion, or $2.97 per share, up from $943 million, or $2.48 per share, a year ago. Its revenue rose to $5.54 billion from $4.49 billion a year earlier.
For 2014, the company expects net income between $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion and revenue between $6.45 billion and $6.63 billion. Analysts expected net income of $1.34 billion on revenue of $6.22 billion.
Shares of Discovery Communications, which is based in Silver Spring, Md., fell $3.23, or 3.9 percent, to $79.63 in midday trading Thursday. Its shares are up 11 percent since a year ago.