Second quarter profits rise nearly 50%

Second-quarter profit at Dish Network rose nearly 50% on higher sales and lower expenses, but new subscriber growth slowed amid a weak U.S. economy.

Profit from the nation’s second-largest satellite TV provider rose to $335.9 million, or 73¢ per share, from $224.2 million, or 50¢ per share, a year ago, according to an SEC filing Monday.

Sales for the period ended June 30 rose 5.6% to $2.91 billion from $2.76 billion.

Total costs and expenses declined to $2.29 billion from $2.32 billion a year ago.

During the quarter, Dish added 752,000 new subscribers, compared with 850,000 new subscribers during the same period in 2007.

Dish said a weak economy, higher competition from satellite and cable TV companies, and “operational inefficiencies” hurt subscriber growth.

Dish lost 25,000 total subscribers during the quarter, ending the period with 13.79 million. The number of customers who stopped service, measured as churn rate, rose to 1.87% from 1.68% a year earlier.

Dish was spun off in January from EchoStar Communications.

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