DirecTV Tops Analysts’ Profit Estimates as New Customers Sign Up

DirecTV’s year-end price increases and customer signups helped profit exceed analysts’ estimates, while investors look ahead to U.S. approval of AT&T Inc.’s takeover of the country’s largest satellite-TV service.

Fourth-quarter earnings of $1.53 a share beat the average analyst estimate of $1.41, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. DirecTV signed up 149,000 U.S. subscribers, while adding 118,000 users in Latin America, the El Segundo, California-based company said Thursday in a statement.

DirecTV signed up more customers for satellite TV service despite increasing competition from popular online streaming alternatives like Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. The challenges in the pay-TV market helped motivate discussions with AT&T. DirecTV’s financial performance has been overshadowed by the deal, which is awaiting regulatory approval.

The addition of DirecTV will help AT&T sell a broader package of TV, Internet, mobile and landline phone services in the U.S. It also will give AT&T a foothold as it expands services to faster-growing markets in Mexico and other parts of Latin America.

“2015 will bring additional challenges to our businesses,” DirecTV Chief Executive Officer Mike White said in the statement. “But given our solid continued operating momentum and the pending merger with AT&T, I am confident that we will continue to drive value for our shareholders for the foreseeable future.”

DirecTV’s revenue rose to $8.92 billion, compared with the $8.91 billion average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.