Discovery Communications Reports First Quarter 2011 Results

(Silver Spring, Md.) First Quarter 2011 Financial Highlights:

  • Revenues increased 9% to $951 million
  • Adjusted OIBDA increased 17% to $427 million
  • Net income increased to $305 million (up 20% excluding one-time items)
  • Free Cash Flow increased 81% to $206 million
  • Repurchased 4.7 million shares for an aggregate purchase price of $167 million

Discovery Communications, Inc. (“Discovery” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011.

David Zaslav, Discovery’s President and Chief Executive Officer said, “Discovery’s strong first quarter results reflect the operating momentum we are generating across our global portfolio in a continued favorable economic climate. Our consistent investment in content over the past four years, along with a drive to expand our subscriber base domestically and internationally, has enabled Discovery to grow our audiences across the globe. Once again this quarter, we recognized the value of our increased viewership through double digit advertising gains that further built upon the strength we demonstrated throughout 2010. Moving forward, with advertising revenues expanding and predictable distribution revenues continuing to grow, we remain focused on delivering sustained operating leverage and free cash flow growth, while also continuing to invest in Discovery’s diverse set of brands and platforms around the world.”

First quarter revenues of $951 million increased $82 million, or 9%, over the first quarter a year ago, led by 8% growth at U.S. Networks and 14% growth at International Networks. Adjusted Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization (1) (“OIBDA”) grew 17% to $427 million, driven by a 14% increase at U.S. Networks and an 18% increase at International Networks. Adjusted OIBDA margin for the first quarter increased to 45% from 42% in the first quarter of 2010.

First quarter net income from continuing operations available to Discovery Communications, Inc. stockholders of $305 million ($0.74 per diluted share) increased $136 million compared to $169 million ($0.39 per diluted share) for the first quarter a year ago. The current quarter results reflect the strong operating performance, as well as a gain of $102 million, net of tax, as a result of contributing the domestic Discovery Health network to the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (“OWN”) joint venture, partially offset by an increased provision for income taxes.

Free cash flow was $206 million for the first quarter, an increase of $92 million from the first quarter of 2010, due to increased operating performance and lower taxes and interest payments. Free cash flow is defined as cash provided by operating activities less acquisitions of property and equipment.