DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) is just a cable company to many people. But in actuality, it’s the largest satellite television provider in the United States. Its 20 million subscribers far exceeds the 14.1 million subscribers for DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH). DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) has also consistently improved its revenue and earnings over the past three years, whereas DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) saw a decline in earnings in 2012. DirecTV is appealing for many other reasons as well.
Trusting top investors
Billionaires Warren Buffett and Mason Hawkins have achieved what very few others have through investing. Great stocks like The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), and The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) continue to rise for decades because they have great management. Warren Buffett and Mason Hawkins have succeeded for the same reason.
Betting on an investor with a stellar track record is just like betting on a company with a stellar track record. In other words, you should strongly consider investing in companies that these billionaires invest in.
They might not always be correct, but their experience and knowledge are likely to help you outperform. With that in mind, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway recently increased its DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) stake by 10% to 37 million shares. DirecTV is also Mason Hawkins’s Southeastern Asset Management’s fourth-largest holding.
According to Nielsen, the number of households with a television has declined over the past two years. You might think this would be a negative for a company like DirecTV but it has increased its net subscribers and average revenue per user in the United States and Latin America over the same time frame.
In the United States, an emerging threat has been online video streaming services. It has been reported that DirecTV is interested in purchasing Hulu for $1 billion. This would put DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) ahead of the industry curve, and it would give DirecTV access to 4 million Hulu subscribers. DirecTV would happily deliver more content over the Internet since it’s cheaper than delivering content to televisions via satellites.
In Latin America, the main competition stems from bundle packaging. Traditional cable and satellite television have arrived in Latin America much later than the United States. Though the competition is increasing, DirecTV still sits at the top of the mountain.
Regardless of the geographic location, DirecTV has made an impact at business locations. According to DirecTV, 78% of business subscribers believe that DirecTV programming increases their business. This includes bars, restaurants, offices, stores, gyms, hotels, and hospitals.
Other selling points for DirecTV include DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) Everywhere and Genie. With DirecTV Everywhere, viewers can watch what they want whenever they want on their mobile device. Genie is for the home, and it allows viewers to digitally record up to five shows at once in up to eight rooms at once.
DirecTV vs. peers
Despite the saturation of the United States television market, DirectTV has managed to record a revenue CAGR of 11.3%. Though DirecTV doesn’t offer dividends, it consistently buys back shares, which reduces the share count and helps prop up earnings.
It has already been established that DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) is a better investment option than DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH), but what about Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC), which currently yields 2.60%? The chart below shows how these three stocks have performed over the past three years: