DirecTV (DTV) Subs Up, Profits Down

As the price of HDTVs goes down, DirecTV’s sub numbers go up. Shares in the satellite TV provider, which has spent heavily to add to its HD lineup, finished up slightly after it reported lower earnings but higher revenue on increasing demand for high-def TV and digital video recorders.

Revenue rose 18% in Q3 to $4.33 bil from $3.67 bil a year ago. Net income fell nearly 14% to $319 million from $370 million a year ago due to higher costs. Archived call here.

Key metrics: DirecTV added 240,000 net new subscribers in the quarter, a 45% increase from last year, and 50% of the new subscribers signed up for high-def or a DVR, nearly double the rate from a year ago.

Capital Spending: Grew as the company increased the number of high-def channels, subsidized increasing demand for DVRs, and converted to the MPEG-4 HD format.

Total subs: 16.6 million, up 6% from its year-ago total.

Churn better: The defection rate decreased to 1.6% from 1.8% a year ago.

Latin America booming: Revenues increased 67% to $442 million; operating profit up 15% to $105 million.

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