DirecTV profits and growth feel pinch of slowing economy

The nation's largest satellite television provider saw its net profit shrink by two percent and customer growth remained flat.

Regardless of those results, the company is managing to hold strongly on to customers, posting a 1.42 percent average monthly churn, its lowest turnover rate in eight years.

The company says a tighter credit policy plus increased adoption in both its HD and DVR offerings have a lot to do with it being able to keep customers longer.

Overall, fourth quarter revenues increased 17 percent to $4.88 billion, on net income of $348 million. With its increased focus on high-end services such as HD, average monthly revenue per subscriber is also on the increase, up 8.3 percent to $87.40.

However, with the new high-end services' increased upfront expenses, it now costs more to acquire each customer. These subscriber acquisition costs were up 15 percent in the quarter to $716.

"With full awareness of an industry that will be characterized by increasing competition and a slowing economy, we're continuing to target extremely strong results in 2008," president and CEO Chase Carey said in a statement.

Full year net subscriber additions were up slightly to 878,000, finishing out the year with 16.83 million subscribers. US revenues were up 13 percent to $15.53 billion.

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