Dish Network Beats Expectations For Q3 Earnings And Subscriptions

Everyone expected the numbers to be up from last year which included a $730M charge to settle a legal dispute with AMC Networks. But Dish Network did even better than investors anticipated. It generated $314.9M in net income, up from a $158.5M loss, on revenues of $3.6B, +2.2%. The Street thought revenues would be a tad lower at $3.58B. Diluted earnings at 68 cents a share were well ahead of the consensus forecast of 44 cents. The results were helped by the addition of 35,000 pay TV subscribers since the end of June, bringing Dish’s total to 14.05M. The sub increase was well ahead of the 15,000 forecast by Brean Capital’s Todd Mitchell. The company says that its churn rate dropped from last year although it “continues to be adversely affected” by the need for aggressive marketing and discounts, as well as “sustained economic weakness and uncertainty.” Average revenue per subscriber was up 5.3% to $81.05 due to a price hike, and added revenues from hardware and pay-per-view purchases. But subscriber-related expenses rose 9.4% from last year to nearly $2B which Dish says was largely due to rising programming costs. Blockbuster, which the company said last week it plans to scrap, continued to weigh on the financials. Dish says it expects to incur future losses of as much as $30M from the home video chain. Blockbuster generated a $24M operating loss in Q3, double what it was last year, on revenues of $97M, down from $231M in 2012 when the company still had Blockbuster UK.

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