Directv Earnings Call Insights: EBITDA Growth and Benefits of Economic Stimulus

Directv (NASDAQ:DTV) recently reported its fourth quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

EBITDA Growth

Benjamin Swinburne – Morgan Stanley: I have I guess two questions of clarification. Bruce for you, on the guidance for ’13, I think I heard you say, 20% EBITDA growth in Brazil and then flat Pan Americana including the impact of the charge. I just want to clarify that was correct.

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Bruce B. Churchill – EVP and President, DIRECTV Latin America: No. So, the 20% was in local currency. 20% local currency revenue and OPBDA growth, but rolling everything all in, so consolidated, both Pan Americana and Brazil, it would be about mid-teens revenue and flat OPBDA.

Benjamin Swinburne – Morgan Stanley: Then I hope this doesn’t count as GVT question, but I was curious Pat, you talked about the buyback plan getting through I think early next year. Is that some subject to what happens to GVT? You also talked about, Mike talked keeping the investment grade rating just maybe you could help put that into context for us?

Patrick T. Doyle – EVP and CFO: The $4 billion in getting into next year would be kind of the business as usual without introducing strategic transaction. So, I think as we would look at it, I mean obviously we would be very conscious of. We expect that our credit rating and making sure we give ourselves the most financial flexibility.

Benefits of Economic Stimulus

Vijay Jayant – ISI Group: Pat, I just want to follow-up, is there any positive benefits from the economic stimulus in 2013 in your expectations?

Patrick T. Doyle – EVP and CFO: Well, I guess what I was saying, Vijay is that we had a benefit in ’12. As it rolls into ’13 now as we kind of look at the tiering of the – of all of the years of the benefits, it’s actually a net negative in ’13 as you get the new benefit that got passed in the tax bill, but the low loss of all the benefits that we’ve gotten in the past. Compared from 2012 to 2013, we went from a positive to a negative on net-net on the depreciation benefit.

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Vijay Jayant – ISI Group: Then I have again a clarification for Bruce, so if you excluded the cash devaluation for Venezuela, the OPBDA growth for LatAm in 2013 would be something in the low double digits. Just the impact on the business is not right?

Bruce B. Churchill – EVP and President, DIRECTV Latin America: It’s about right.

A Closer Look: Directv Earnings Cheat Sheet>>