Discovery beats third-quarter earnings expectations

The cable giant's third-quarter earnings managed to surpass Wall Street expectations even though a strong U.S. dollar hurt overseas business and offset domestic gains. (Pictured: Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav)
November 3, 2015

Discovery Communications’ third-quarter earnings managed to surpass Wall Street expectations even though a strong U.S. dollar hurt the cable giant’s overseas business.

The company, which operates Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and TLC, reported a profit of US$279 million – down from $280 million in the same period last year. Earnings per share were up to 43 cents from 41 last year. Analysts were expecting profits of 40 cents per share.

Total revenue dropped 1% to $1.56 billion, thanks to a 9% decrease in overseas business offsetting growth of 8% in the U.S. market. Discovery’s adjusted operating income was down 9% to $576 million, with 4% growth at home offset by a 21% decline abroad.

The company blamed the declines in international operations on currency fluctuations. In recent years, Discovery has expanded its international operations and the strong U.S. dollar has hurt its international businesses.

Growth in the U.S. was driven by a 12% increase in distribution and a 6% increase in advertising revenue. Discovery said the increase in distribution was helped by higher rates and the consolidation of Discovery Family. Ad revenue went up due to higher prices.

“Discovery’s unique portfolio of assets and global brands drove yet another quarter of strong worldwide viewership and financial results,” said Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav (pictured) in a statement. “Discovery is like no other media company, propelled by our unmatched global infrastructure, local leadership, efficient global content model and sturdy position in the U.S., and we are confident in our ability to drive near and long-term growth and shareholder value.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.