Dish Reports Higher First-Quarter Sub Growth, Lower Earnings

3:24 AM PST 05/07/2012 by Georg Szalai
Alex Wong/Getty Images

UPDATED: The satellite TV giant, led by chairman Charlie Ergen, added 104,000 subscribers in the latest period.

Dish Network on Monday reported lower first-quarter earnings as the satellite TV giant added more subscribers than in the year-ago period and than Wall Street had expected. The company, led by chairman Charlie Ergen and CEO Joe Clayton, posted a quarterly profit of $360 million, compared with $549 million in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 11 percent to $3.58 billion from $3.20 billion. Earnings were boosted by a one-time gain, while the year-ago period benefited from a reversal of accrued expenses related to a legal settlement with DVR company TiVo. Excluding $334 million in revenue from video rental store unit Blockbuster and wireless broadband firms acquired earlier this year, revenue was up only 0.7 percent. Dish added 104,000 net new subscribers in the latest period, compared with 58,000 in the year-ago period. It ended March with 14.07 million users. "I am encouraged by two quarters of net additions, as well as a reduction in churn," said Clayton. "Dish had a great quarter," Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker said in a first reaction. "Subs were much better than expected due to substantially lower churn, which we view as the most important metric." Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com Twitter: @georgszalai
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