Discovery Communications Inc (NASDAQ:DISCA) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
May 08, 2018 • 08:30 am ET
Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Discovery Incorporated First Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]
I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Andrew Slabin, Executive Vice President, Global Investor Strategy. Sir, you may begin.
Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us for Discovery's 2018 first quarter earnings call. Joining me today is David Zaslav, our President and Chief Executive Officer; and Gunnar Wiedenfels, our Chief Financial Officer. You should have received our earnings release, but if not, feel free to access it on our website at corporate.discovery.com.
During today's call, we will begin with some opening comments from David and Gunnar, after which we will open the call up for your questions. Please try to keep to one or two questions, so we can accommodate as many folks as possible.
Before we start, I would like to remind you that today's comments regarding the Company's future business plans, prospects and financial performance are forward-looking statements that we make pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made based on management's current knowledge and assumptions about future events, and they involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations.
In providing projections and other forward-looking statements, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update them. For additional information on important factors that could affect these expectations, please see our Annual Report for the year ended December 31, 2017, and our subsequent filings made with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
And with that, I'd like to turn the call over to David.
Good morning, everyone, and thanks for joining us today. The first quarter was a transformational period for Discovery, marked by a number of important milestones that will help to further differentiate our strategy from the rest of the marketplace, enhance our portfolio of quality, trusted brands and position us for our next generation of growth.
In addition to reporting solid operating momentum across our businesses, we closed on our Scripps transaction and quickly began integrating the two companies. And thus far, I can unequivocally say, we love this combination even more now than when we first announced it. As Gunnar will detail, our combination is exceeding expectations on every level, which you will see reflected in our upwardly-revised synergy target, and we are continuing to drive more synergy value off of this base and look forward to updating you in future quarters.
In short, we feel real good about where we are, operationally, financially and strategically. And we see multiple areas where we can create meaningful long-term value. Behind this momentum, we are ahead of plan to rapidly reduce our debt levels and now plan to be around four times net debt to pro forma adjusted OIBDA by the end of this year.
I'd like to share a few thoughts on the state of our industry, our differentiated position as the global leader in