Warner Bros. Discovery misses first-quarter estimates despite streaming growth

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Warner Bros. Discovery reported first-quarter results on Thursday, missing analyst expectations on both the top and bottom lines.

Here is how Warner Bros. Discovery performed, compared with estimates from analysts surveyed by LSEG:

  • Loss per share: 40 cents vs. 24 cents loss expected
  • Revenue: $9.96 billion vs. $10.231 billion expected

Warner Bros. Discovery — which owns streaming service Max, a portfolio of cable TV networks including TNT and Discovery, and a film studio — said revenue fell 7% to $9.96 billion compared to the same quarter last year.

Warner Bros. Discovery posted a net loss attributable to the company of $966 million, or 40 cents per share, an improvement from the year-ago quarter when it reported a loss of $1.07 billion, or 44 cents per share.

The company said total adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were down roughly 20% during the first quarter to $2.1 billion, noting its “Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League” video game generated significantly lower revenues.

The company’s cash position improved, with free cash flow increasing to $390 million, a $1.3 billion improvement from the same quarter last year, the company noted.

Warner Bros. Discovery has been working to reduce its debt load, which now stands at $43.2 billion, stemming from the merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery in 2022. On Thursday the company said it repaid $1.1 billion in debt during the quarter, and also announced a $1.75 billion cash tender aimed at further reducing its debt.

Besides paying down its debt, Warner Bros. Discovery has been working to make its streaming segment profitable.

The company announced on Wednesday it would bundle its streaming services with those of Disney — tying together Max, Disney+ and Hulu — and offer it to consumers this summer, a callback to the traditional pay-TV package. Pricing has yet to be disclosed, but it will be offered at a discount, CNBC reported.

Warner Bros. Discovery said Thursday it added 2 million direct-to-consumer streaming subscribers during the quarter, bringing its total to 99.6 million.

That segment earned an adjusted $86 million during the quarter, an improvement of $36 million from the prior-year quarter, the company said.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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