The Company's net income totaled $289 million in the first quarter 2018, compared to $207 million in the first quarter 2017. Net income per diluted common share was $0.06 in the first quarter 2018, compared to $0.04 in the first quarter 2017. Adjusted EBITDA grew 6% in the first quarter 2018 to $532 million, a first quarter record. Free cash flow and operating cash flow in the first quarter 2018 increased 31% and 34%, respectively, to $326 million and $415 million.
"We continue to add compelling, diverse programming across our talk, sports, comedy, and music channels. We gravitate toward those who have played the game, made their mark, or are the true insiders who can tell you the story as no one else can. We launched a new classic hip hop channel with LL Cool J, and a new comedy channel with Kevin Hart. We added a limited run Southern Rock channel that was so popular we had to extend it, and we gave subscribers another reason to love us with a chance to win tickets to Springsteen On Broadway. And our bundle got even stronger with the launch of new, full-time sports channels from the country's biggest, most important college athletic conferences," added Meyer.
FIRST QUARTER 2018 HIGHLIGHTS
- Total Subscribers Exceed 33 Million for First Time. The Company added 206,000 net new self-pay subscribers in the first quarter to end with approximately 27.7 million self-pay subscribers. Total net additions in the first quarter were 330,000, taking the Company's total subscriber count to approximately 33.1 million at quarter-end.
- Strong Revenue Growth Despite Accounting Headwind. First quarter revenue grew 6% compared to the year ago period to $1.4 billion, a first quarter record. This growth was driven by a 5% increase in subscribers as average revenue per user (ARPU) stayed flat year over year at $12.95. The first quarter 2018 saw the adoption of the new revenue recognition accounting standard (FASB ASU 2014-09) which reclassified approximately $24 million of revenue to offset expenses principally related to automaker agreements.
- Net Income Grows 40%. Net income in the first quarter totaled $289 million, up 40% from $207 million in the first quarter 2017. This increase included a $31 million unrealized gain associated with the change in fair value of the Company's Pandora investment, in addition to approximately $50 million of tax savings resulting from a 21.7% rate in the first quarter compared to 35.5% in the prior year period.