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Discovery’s 4th-quarter profit drops

Discovery Communications Inc., of Silver Spring, reported an 8 percent increase in fourth-quarter revenue, but earnings declined, falling short of analysts’ expectations.

The media and entertainment company, whose cable holdings include the Discovery channel, Animal Planet, TLC and the Military channel, posted fourth-quarter net income of $224 million, or 61 cents per diluted share, compared to $336 million, or 86 cents per diluted share, in the prior-year period.

Revenue rose to $1.2 billion from $1.1 billion in the 2011 quarter.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, forecast earnings of 76 cents per share on revenue of $1.2 billion.

The company attributed the earnings drop to the cost of acquisitions, higher taxes and increased equity-based compensation.