Dish Network’s profits soared despite 133,000 lost subscribers

Dish Network, a satellite-TV company led by chairman Charlie Ergen, jumped 88 percent in quarterly profit despite losing subscribers.

Dish said on Monday it continued to slightly slow down pay-TV subscribers during the fourth quarter, while 133,00 subscribers were shed with a loss of 194,000 in the year-ago period.

Bernstein analyst Peter Supino attributed the improvement to the result that fewer customers are “switching” their services during the epidemic, as well as an increase in prices.

The company’s dish pay-TV service declined, losing 149,000 subscribers. The company’s live TV streaming service, SlingTV, made up for a 16,000-customer gain.

The company ended the period with about 11 million subscribers, about 9 million Dish customers and more than 2 million customers.

Dish Network shares recently slipped 0.4 percent to $ 33.54 on Monday.

Overall, fourth-quarter profit reached $ 733 million, or $ 1.24 a share, compared to $ 389 million, or 69 cents in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose 41 percent to $ 4.56 billion, compared to $ 3.24 billion a year earlier.

Dish said its average revenue per customer increased to $ 94.47 in the year-ago quarter versus $ 87.02.

Looking ahead, Dish chief executive Eric Carlson deferred Dish’s new multiyear carriage deal with TV station veteran Nexstar Media Group, which covered local stations and the WGN Americas network.

He also shook Dish’s push into the retail wireless market last year through the $ 1.4 billion acquisition of Boost Mobile.

“This is a significant milestone in the development of Dish as a connectivity company,” Carlson said. “This holds us up well as we continue to build the first virtualized, standalone 5G network in the US.”

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