Sizing up pay-TV earnings for the fourth quarter of 2014

Q4 2014 earningsHow did pay-TV distributors including cable MSOs, IPTV operators and satellite providers, as well as relevant programmers and technology companies perform in 2014's fourth quarter? In this earnings summary, we list results for the biggest cable industry players.

To compare results in this industry segment, check out our earnings summaries from the third quarter and the second quarter of 2014. Also, round out your telecom earnings knowledge with more summaries for the current quarter, updated at FierceTelecom and FierceWireless.

Jan. 21
Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX)
Subscription video on demand provider Netfliix added a record 13 million new subscribers in 2014, bringing its total subs worldwide to 57.4 million. It was the first in a line of good news for investors, as CEO Reed Hastings said in a letter that the provider's subscription rate was in line with its forecast for the fourth quarter. What's more, Netflix's international expansion is going so well that Hastings said the company expects to complete its initiative "over the next two years, while staying profitable, which is earlier than we expected." It also piled on revenue in the fourth quarter, to the tune of $1.3 billion. Netflix brought in net income of $83 million in the fourth quarter, with earnings per share of $1.35.
- read our coverage
- and this article
- visit Netflix's investor relations page

Jan. 22
Verizon (NYSE: VZ)
Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) added 116,000 FiOS video subscribers in the fourth quarter, a 26 percent year-over-year uptick, upping its total video subscriber base to 5.6 million. With FiOS representing 77 percent of Verizon's consumer wireline revenue, the company's video services have now penetrated 35.8 percent of the U.S. pay-TV market. Verizon also reported a net increase of 145,000 Internet customers in Q4, as FiOS revenue increased 11.6 percent to $3.3 billion. Overall, Verizon reported a net loss in Q4 of $2.23 billion after adjustments for pensions and other post-employment benefits, such as early retirement.
- read our coverage
- visit Verizon's investor relations page

Jan. 27
Apple has sold over 25 million of its Apple TV streaming devices so far, part of a blowout holiday quarter that saw over $18 million in profit on sales of 74.5 million iPhones. Revenue grew 30 percent year-over-year to $74.6 billion.
- see FierceWireless' coverage
- visit Apple's investor relations page

IPTV provider AT&T reported the addition of 73,000 U-verse TV subscribers in the fourth quarter, a significant decline from the 194,000 added in the same period of 2013. The conglomerate attributed the decline to a "strategic move to improve profitability" by concentrating on subscribers with lower churn rates.
- see our coverage
- visit AT&T's investor relations page

Jan. 29
Online video and retail giant Amazon just missed on revenue forecasts, with net revenue increasing 15 percent during the fourth quarter to $29.33 billion (under analyst estimates of $29.68 billion). For the full year, its revenue jumped 20 percent to $88.99 billion. However, it beat analyst estimates on earnings per share for the first time since early 2013.
- see our coverage
- visit Amazon's investor relations page

- visit Google's investor relations page

Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC)
Time Warner Cable reported strong fourth-quarter residential subscriber metrics, highlighted by residential video declines that slowed by 75 percent to just 38,000. Overall, TWC gained 54,000 residential customers in Q4, adding 168,000 residential high-speed Internet subscribers and 295,000 residential voice subs during the period, the latter being an all-time fourth-quarter mark for the company. The MSO also added 273,000 triple play customers, another Q4 best.
- see our coverage
- visit Time Warner Cable's investor relations page

The programmer announced it will launch an a la carte, online version of its Nickelodeon channel in March. Viacom's net earnings for the three-month period ending Dec. 31 declined 9 percent to $500 million, with U.S. ad sales revenue falling 6 percent. The media conglomerate's total revenue rose 5 percent to $3.34 billion, driven by an 8 percent increase in affiliate fees from pay-TV operators. But operating income from Viacom networks declined 1 percent to $1.104 billion.
- see our coverage
- visit Viacom's investor page

Feb. 3
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS)
Despite softness in one of pay-TV's most powerful programming engines, the Walt Disney Company reported a 19 percent uptick in fourth-quarter profits Wednesday. Overall, the company reported net income for the quarter ending Dec. 27 of $2.18 billion on revenue of $12.87 billion.
- see our coverage
- visit Disney's investor relations page

Feb. 4
21st Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA)
Despite a bullish fiscal second quarter, during which revenues spiked 10 percent to $7.42 billion, 21st Century Fox issued a bearish forecast to investors. The strong dollar, combined with a soft global market for TV advertising, convinced Fox executives to trim $250 million from its full-year 2015 projections, as well as another $200 million from its fiscal 2016 outlook.
- see our coverage
- and Fox's investor relations page

Feb. 5
Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR)
Charter reported 9.9 percent revenue growth in the fourth quarter to $2.4 billion, driven by residential revenue growth of 8.3 percent, commercial revenue growth of 16.1 percent and advertising revenue expansion of 28.9 percent. Residential video subscribers stayed flat at just over 4.1 million, while high-speed residential Internet customers increased 9 percent to nearly 4.8 million.
- see our coverage
- and this update
- visit Charter Communications investor relations page

Feb. 11
- visit Cisco's investor relations page

Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX)
Subscriber fees from HBO and Turner Networks channels helped Time Warner Inc. beat analysts' profit forecast for the 24th consecutive quarter, even with a soft advertising market.
Revenue for the conglomerate's Turner Networks division spiked 2 percent to $2.6 billion, with a 5 percent rise in subscription fee increases powerful enough to offset a 1 percent decline in advertising revenue, as well as a lengthy blackout of Turner channels on Dish Network.
- see our coverage
- visit Time Warner's investor relations page

Centurylink (NYSE: CTL)
The IPTV provider continued its aggressive expansion of video services in the fourth quarter, announcing Wednesday that it added 12,900 new Prism TV customers in the last three months of 2014. With the gains, CenturyLink touted 242,000 TV video customers as of the end of December.
- see our coverage
- visit CenturyLink's investor relations page

Feb. 12
CBS net earnings fell to $402 million from $422 million a year prior. CBS did manage to grow ad revenue by 4 percent, despite the soft market, thanks largely to the strong performance of Thursday Night Football and political advertising by local stations. CEO Les Moonves also made some strong predictions about C7 advertising and how much CBS expects to recoup from 2016 Super Bowl ads.
- see our coverage
- visit CBS' investor relations page

Feb. 18
Arris reported a 6 percent rise in fourth quarter revenue to $1.26 billion, beating analysts' consensus forecast. However, during the telecom technology giant's Q4 earnings call Wednesday, news of its fourth-quarter performance took second stage to what the company predicts will be a very down-and-up 2015.
- see our coverage
- visit Arris' investor relations page

Feb. 19
With its chief rival Dish Network battling CBS Corp., Turner Networks and Fox News in the fourth quarter, DirecTV saw a flurry of refugee subscribers join its ranks.
- see our coverage
- visit DirecTV's investor relations page

Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA)
The cable programming conglomerate reported Q4 net income of $250 million, down 13.5 percent from the last three months of 2013. Revenue was up 9 percent to $1.68 billion, but that missed analysts' forecasts.
- see our coverage
- visit Discovery's investor relations page

Rovi Corp. (NASDAQ:ROVI)
President and CEO Thomas Carson told investors Thursday during the company's fourth-quarter earnings call that it is in the process of expanding its relationship with several mid-tier cable operators. For the quarter, Rovi posed a Q4 loss of $5.9 million, with revenue declining by 12 percent to $134.2 million.
- see our coverage
- visit Rovi's investor relations page

Feb. 20
Cable One (NYSE: GHC)
The steady decline of Cable One's pay-TV business continued in the fourth quarter, with the MSO hemorrhaging another 25,000 video subscribers. The MSO's cable revenue fell 1 percent to $197.7 million for the fourth quarter and 1 percent for the full 2014 at $798.1 million.
- see our coverage
- visit Graham Holdings' investor page

Feb. 23
Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH)
Blackouts with networks including Fox News dinged Dish Network's subscriber base in the fourth quarter, with the satellite service losing 63,000 customers during the three-month period ending Dec. 31. For the full year, Dish reported a 7 percent rise in revenue to $14.6 billion, and a 17 percent uptick in net income to $945 million.
- see our coverage
- more Dish news

Mediacom Communications reported 10,000 lost video subscriptions in the fourth quarter across its two operating units, with the MSO finishing the full 2014 with 890,000 pay-TV service customers, down from 945,000 at the end of 2013.
- see our coverage
- more Mediacom news

Feb. 24
Comcast added 6,000 Xfinity TV video subscribers in the fourth quarter, missing analyst forecasts of around 25,000 video customer additions. Overall revenue for Comcast's cable division increased 6.1 percent to $11.3 billion in the fourth quarter, with broadband services spiking 9 percent and business services up 20.8 percent.
- see our coverage
- visit Comcast's investor relations page

Suddenlink Communications
Suddenlink lost another 34,800 basic video customers in the fourth quarter of 2014, nearly quadrupling the 8,600 it lost during the comparable 2013 quarter. Suddenlink also lost 26,300 digital video customers in Q4.
- see our coverage
- visit Suddenlink's investor relations page

Feb. 25
Cablevision (NYSE: CVC)
Cablevision reported slightly accelerated subscriber losses of 34,000 in the fourth quarter, ending the three month period with 2.68 million Optimum TV customers. Chief executive James Dolan said that going forward, Cablevision will prioritize the growth of its Wi-Fi initiatives, favoring them over video services.
- see our coverage
- visit Cablevision's investor relations page

Liberty Media (NASDAQ: LMCA)
- more Liberty Media news

Buffalo, N.Y.-based Synacor reported fourth quarter revenue of $30.9 million, a 5 percent year-over-year uptick and the second best revenue performance in the company's history. The revenue figure also exceeded guidance of around $27 million.
- see our coverage
- visit Synacor's investor page

Feb. 26

- more AMC's investor relations page

March 3

For its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, San Jose, Calif.-based TiVo reported revenue of $114 million, shattering investor guidance of around $89 million. TiVo's subscriber base swelled to 5.5 million in the quarter, up 1.3 million for the year, with the DVR maker adding another 324,000 customers through MSO partnerships during the period.
- see our coverage
- visit TiVo's investor relations page

Sizing up pay-TV earnings for the fourth quarter of 2014

Suggested Articles

FuboTV grew its revenue and engagement despite the coronavirus-related sports shutdown.

Virtual MVPD FuboTV has raised another $20 million in funding as the service and its competitors like YouTube TV and Sling TV engage in a price war.

It’s been almost a year since we last broke down the timeline for price increases at YouTube TV, AT&T TV Now and other virtual MVPDs.