HOLLYWOOD — Shares in EchoStar Communications soared Thursday as the satcaster’s first-quarter loss narrowed to $167 million from year-earlier red ink of $185.1 million amid big boosts to its customer base.
Despite a generally sour day on Wall Street, the news about subs for EchoStar’s Dish Network was sweet enough to send shares up $4.63, almost 15%, to $36.93. The stock spiked as much as 17% earlier in the session.
The Littleton, Colo.-based company said Dish has seen a 48% boost in subscriptions since last year’s first quarter, with a total 5.7 million subs by March 31. That helped increase EchoStar revenue 52% to $862 million in the latest quarter.
“EchoStar incurred substantial upfront acquisition costs in connection with continued record subscriber growth,” the company said. “However, operating and net losses narrowed significantly.”
EchoStar’s operating loss narrowed to $15.2 million from year-ago red ink of $142 million.