UPDATE 1-DirecTV subscriber growth in Latin America slows
Aug 1 (Reuters) - Satellite TV provider DirecTV missed second-quarter earnings estimates as it lost more customers than expected in the United States and added fewer than expected in Latin America, sending its shares down 4 percent in premarket trading.
In Latin America, usually the greatest driver of the company's business, it added just 165,000 subscribers, while research firm StreetAccount was looking for 431,900.
Subscriber growth in recent years has centered in Latin America, where the company has tapped into an expanding middle class with more spending power in countries such as Brazil. It also operates in Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Chile and Ecuador.
Wunderlich Securities analyst Matthew Harrigan said DirecTV's Latin American unit performed worse than expected in the latest quarter.
DirecTV said in June that subscriber numbers for Sky Brasil, one of its fastest growing units, had been overstated. The total as of March 31 was overstated by about 200,000, while the total as of Dec. 31 was overstated by 100,000, it said.
But even with those adjustments, analysts were expecting a better second quarter in Latin America and may have to lower their estimates for DirecTV's operations there, Harrigan said.
Investors are used to surging subscriber numbers in the Latin American unit. In the first quarter, DirecTV added nearly 583,000 subscribers there.
The company reported on Thursday that second-quarter profit attributable to DirecTV was $660 million, or $1.18 per share, down from $711 billion, or $1.09 share, a year earlier. Analysts' average forecast was $1.33 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 6 percent to $7.7 billion, compared with an average estimate of $7.75 billion.
Analysts on average expected U.S. DirecTV to lose a net 69,500 U.S. subscribers in the quarter, according to StreetAccount, but the losses totaled 84,000.
DirecTV shares fell 4 percent to $60.80 in premarket trading.