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DirecTV adds fewer subscribers in Latin America, U.S.

(Reuters) - Satellite TV company DirecTV added fewer subscribers in the United States and Latin America in the fourth quarter as competition intensified.
/ Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - Satellite TV company DirecTV added fewer subscribers in the United States and Latin America in the fourth quarter as competition intensified.

The number of new customers in Latin America, the company's largest growth area, fell about 65 percent from a year earlier to 231,000, while U.S. net subscriber additions dropped almost 10 percent to 93,000.

Results in the United States reflected "a more challenging competitive environment and mature industry," DirecTV said on Thursday.

In Latin America, subscriber numbers were hurt by a fall in imports of set-top boxes in Venezuela and by weak economic conditions and stronger competition in Argentina, Colombia and Chile, the company said.

Even though DirecTV is the largest U.S. satellite provider, investors have tended to zero-in on the subscriber trends in Latin America, where the company is tapping into a growing middle class, particularly in Brazil.

DirecTV said it had 20.25 million subscribers in the United States at the end of 2013, up about 0.8 percent from 2012. In Latin America, its customer base grew 12 percent to 11.57 million.

Net income attributable to the company fell to $810 million, or $1.53 per share, in the fourth quarter ended December 31 from $942 million, or $1.55 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 7 percent to $8.59 billion.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.28 per share on revenue of $8.47 billion, according to Thomson Reuters

I/B/E/S.

DirecTV shares were up 1.45 percent at $74.00 in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles and Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)