Shares of Discovery Inc. are off nearly 8% in premarket trading Wednesday after the media company’s first-quarter earnings fell short of expectations. The company posted net income of $140 million, or 21 cents a share, down from $377 million, or 55 cents a share, a year earlier. The FactSet consensus was for 33 cents in GAAP earnings per share. Revenue rose to $2.79 billion from $2.68 billion a year earlier and came in roughly flat with the FactSet consensus, which was calling for $2.77 billion. The company finished the first quarter with 13 million direct-to-consumer subscribers on a global basis and now has more than 15 million paying subscribers. “Key metrics, including subscriber additions, customer engagement, and retention, are exceeding our expectations and demonstrating sustained momentum into the second quarter,” Chief Executive David Zaslav said in a release. Cowen & Co. analyst Doug Creutz wrote in a note to clients that Discovery’s “portfolio subscriber trends improved [quarter over quarter], and DTC subscriber growth continues to make headway,” though he noted that the company’s adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization of $837 million came in below his forecast. Shares of Discovery have lost 4.9% over the past three months, through Tuesday’s close, compared with a 10.5% rise for the S&P 500 over that span.
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