UPDATE, 3:30 PM: TiVo’s beginning to sound more like a law firm than a technology pioneer. CEO Tom Rogers told analysts that the company is well positioned to beat AT&T, Verizon and Microsoft in court battles involving TiVo’s DVR patents following its settlement of a similar case with Dish Network. The agreement “sets a precedent” that “established the strong value of our patent portfolio,” Rogers said. As cash rolls in from Dish, and potentially other companies, TiVo would consider buying back its stock, which it considers undervalued. But executives had few specifics to offer about technology plans. TiVo’s behind schedule on one of its more important initiatives: a DVR for DirecTV. “We’ll launch (it) relatively soon, I hope,” Rogers said. Meanwhile, the company continues its struggle to find a niche for the DVRs it sells in electronics stores. TiVo has been losing ground to lower-priced and less-elegant models that cable and satellite companies offer to their subscribers. “We’ve spent a lot less on marketing going forward as we assess various price points,” Rogers says.
PREVIOUS, 1:57 PM: TiVo’s earnings in the quarter that ended in April were merely OK but looked spectacular with the help of a $175.7 million payment from Dish Network as part of the companies’ recent settlement of their long-running patent-infringement dispute. TiVo reported net earnings of $139 million, up from a $14.2 million loss in the same period last year, on revenues of $45.8 million, down 25.5%. Revenues came in slightly ahead of the range that TiVo told investors to expect. But TiVo subscriptions continued to fall. The DVR pioneer had a little less than 2 million at the end of April. That’s down 4% in the quarter and was TiVo’s lowest number since late 2004. More to come after the company talks with analysts.