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
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty