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Discovery Profits Jump In Fourth Quarter

Discovery Communications reported sharply higher earnings as advertising revenues showed a double-digit increase.

Net income was $336 million, or 86 cents a share, up 75% from $191 million, or 45 cents a share a year ago.

Revenues rose 11% to $1.1 billion.

"Through our continued focus on creating high-quality programming and leveraging that content around the globe, as well as across a growing number of digital and consumer platforms, we were able to take additional share of a strong global advertising market, build new brands and create additional growth drivers across our portfolio," David Zaslav, president & CEO, Discovery Communications, said in a statement. "Heading into 2012 we remain focused on taking market share globally while delivering value to our shareholders through sustained financial results and capital returns."

Discovery said that for 2012, it expects total revenue to be between $4.45 billion and $4.575 billion and adjusted operating income to be between $2.05 billion and $2.15 billion. The company's outlook calls for net income to be between $975 million and $1.075 billion.

For the fourth quarter, Discovery's U.S. cable networks had adjusted operating income of $388 million, up 12% from a year ago. Revenues rose 11%. Distribution revenue was up 7% to $282 million and advertising grew 13% to $364 million. Taking into account moving Discovery Health into the Oprah Winfrey Network joint venture, ad sales were up 17%.