EchoStar posts light loss

Stock up 10% on earnings report

HOLLYWOOD — Shares of EchoStar Communications advanced more than 10% Thursday as the direct broadcast satellite company announced a second-quarter loss that was 25% less than analysts expected.

EchoStar’s net loss of $54 million for the quarter ended June 30, which compared with a loss of $64 million in the year-earlier period, came as revenues increased 149% to $246 million.

The losses, while better than expectations, reflected the marketing costs necessary to recruit DBS subscribers. To provide a measure of performance before such investments, EchoStar said its “pre-marketing cash flow” more than tripled to $76 million.

Meanwhile, the company’s regular cash flow — or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization — gained 167% to $8 million.

EchoStar added 180,000 subscribers to its Dish Network during the second quarter, bringing its total to 1.4 million subscribers.

Based in Littleton, Colo., EchoStar has indirectly benefited from regulatory setbacks suffered by DBS competitor PrimeStar, which has been denied, on antitrust grounds, a change of ownership to a consortium of cablers.

EchoStar stock gained $2.19 a share Thursday to close at $25.63.

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