Discovery News

Discovery Communications Reports Full Year and Fourth Quarter 2012 Results

  • Revenues increased 8% to $4.487 billion
  • Adjusted OIBDA increased 9% to $2.095 billion
  • Repurchased 28.5 million shares for an aggregate purchase price of $1.38 billion

(Silver Spring, Md) Discovery Communications, Inc. (“Discovery” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) today reported financial results for the full year and fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012.

David Zaslav, Discovery’s President and Chief Executive Officer said, “Discovery’s commitment to investing in our brands and developing new and diverse growth opportunities produced another year of strong operating momentum and financial results in 2012.  The appeal of our content resulted in larger audiences across the globe, enabling us to deliver consistently healthy advertising growth both domestically and internationally, while we further leveraged our valuable programming across emerging distribution platforms worldwide.   At the same time, the strength of our balance sheet allowed us to make several strategic investments that we believe further bolster our asset portfolio, while also returning over $1.3 billion to shareholders this year.   We head into 2013 with significant momentum, having just delivered the highest fourth quarter domestic viewership in our history, and will continue to invest in strategic growth initiatives so that we can deliver sustained long-term financial results and shareholder value.”

Fourth Quarter Results
Fourth quarter revenues of $1,200 million increased $94 million, or 8%, over the fourth quarter a year ago, led by 15% growth at International Networks and 4% growth at U.S. Networks.  Adjusted Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization (“OIBDA”) grew 9% to $545 million, as a 17% increase at International Networks, despite the adverse impact of foreign currency fluctuations, and a 7% increase at U.S. Networks, more than offset strategic transaction related costs recognized in the quarter. Excluding foreign currency fluctuations, fourth quarter revenues increased 9% and Adjusted OIBDA increased 11%.

Fourth quarter net income from continuing operations available to Discovery Communications, Inc. stockholders of $224 million ($0.61 per diluted share) decreased $112 million compared to $336 million ($0.86 per diluted share) for the fourth quarter a year ago as the strong operating performance and improved equity earnings in the current year were more than offset primarily by higher taxes and increased mark-to-market equity-based compensation. The higher taxes were largely due to foreign tax credits recognized a year ago as well as an increase in tax reserves in the fourth quarter of 2012.    

Free cash flow was $304 million for the fourth quarter, a decrease of $20 million from the fourth quarter of 2011, as improved operating performance was more than offset by higher content investment, interest and cash taxes. Free cash flow is defined as cash provided by operating activities less acquisitions of property and equipment. 

Full Year Results
Full year 2012 revenues of $4,487 million increased $319 million, or 8%, over 2011 revenues, primarily driven by 13% growth at International Networks and 5% growth at U.S. Networks.  Adjusted OIBDA grew 9% to $2,095 million, driven by an 8% increase at U.S. Networks and a 12% increase at International Networks. Excluding foreign currency fluctuations, full year revenues increased 9% and Adjusted OIBDA increased 12%.

Full year 2012 net income from continuing operations available to Discovery Communications, Inc. stockholders of $954 million ($2.51 per diluted share) decreased $181 million compared to $1,135 million ($2.80 per diluted share) a year ago as the strong operating performance in the current year was more than offset by the prior year inclusion of a $102 million, net of tax, gain from the contribution of the Discovery Health network to the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (“OWN”) joint venture as well as the recognition of foreign tax credits a year ago.  Current year results also included increased mark-to-market equity-based compensation, higher interest expense and lower equity earnings as the Company began recording 100% of OWN’s net losses in 2012.  

Free cash flow was $1,022 million for the full year, a decrease of $20 million from full year 2011, as better operating performance was more than offset by higher content investment, cash taxes and interest.

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