Skip to main content

Liberty Media Posts Upbeat Q2 Earnings

Liberty Media, which has three of its businesses trading as separate tracking stocks, posted improved financial results in the second quarter, saying that its Starz Entertainment and QVC cable-network operations performed well.

“Several businesses, including DirecTV, Starz and our e-commerce companies, delivered excellent results," Liberty president and CEO Greg Maffei said in a statement. "We also continued our focus on balance-sheet management, taking advantage of market weakness to repurchase 18.1 million shares of Liberty Capital, reducing outstanding shares by 14%. DirecTV also continued its buyback, increasing our economic ownership to over 49%."

Revenue at its Starz Entertainment premium pay cable business rose 8% to $275 million and adjusted OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization), a cash-flow metric, soared 24% to $68 million for the three months ended June 30. Its flagship Starz channel service increased average subscribers 6% and Encore grew subscribers 11%.

"The number of subscribers to our channels continued to increase, and the Starz flagship channel finished first in total-day ratings among premium channels in 10 of the first 26 weeks of the year," Starz chairman and CEO Robert B. Clasen said in a statement. "In addition, we completed our first affiliate deal for StarzPlay, our broadband-movie service, with Verizon Communications.”

At shopping TV business QVC, revenue advanced 4% to $1.76 billion and adjusted OIBDA profit rose 4% to $387 million.

"The challenging economic environment continues. However, we are pleased with our disciplined approach to margin, expense and capital management," QVC president and CEO Mike George said in a statement.

Foreign operations bolstered results and there was some weakness domestically, where the product mix shifted to accessories from home and jewelry. Domestic unit shipments declined 4% to 27.6 million in the quarter while returns increased as a percentage of gross product revenue. But the average selling price of domestic shipments advanced 6% to $47.39 per order.