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DirecTV Earnings Drive Shares

DirecTV shares are up following its positive second-quarter earnings report.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (


) --



shares are up this morning after the company reported an increase in its second quarter earnings driven by higher customer sales and strong growth in Latin America.

DirecTV shares reached $39.69 in morning trading, 18 cents below its 52-week high of $39.87. Shares are currently up almost 3% and trading a little below $39.

For the quarter ended June 30, the nation's largest satellite TV company saw earnings rise 33.4% to $543 million, or 42 cents per diluted share, compared with earnings of $407 million, or 40 cents per diluted share, in the same period a year ago.

Revenue was up 12.1% to $5.85 billion from $5.22 billion during the quarter.

"Building on our first quarter momentum, DirecTV delivered yet another excellent quarter highlighted by solid double-digit revenue growth, significant margin expansion and record-setting subscriber growth in Latin America," said Mike White, president and CEO.

Revenue from its Latin America segment grew 26% to $857 million from $680, primarily due to a 3.1% increase in average monthly revenue per subscriber.

DirecTV's sports network, which it acquired through a transaction with

Liberty Media Corporation

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in November 2009, brought in $57 million of revenue.

The number of cumulative subscribers in the U.S. grew 2.5% to 18.8 million from 18.3 million, and the average monthly revenue per subscriber rose 5.7% due to an increase in programming package price.

For the first half of the year, earnings rose 81.1% to $1.1 billion, or $1.02 a share, compared with earnings of $608 million, or 60 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

Revenue increased 13.2% to $11.46 billion from $10.12 billion due to strong subscriber growth in both the U.S. and Latin America.

"Our industry leading revenue and earnings growth continues to be driven by the strength of our brand, an unparalleled set of compelling video products and services, and an intense focus on achieving operational excellence through increased productivity and operating efficiencies in both our U.S. and Latin American businesses," said White.

Management repurchased $1.72 billion of its stock during the second quarter.

-- Reported by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks. Copyright 2010 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.