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EchoStar Revenue Rises 14%

11/08/2005 01:38:00 PM Eastern

Englewood, Calif. — EchoStar Communications, providers of Dish Network satellite TV services, reported revenue of $2.1 billion for the third quarter, ended Sept. 30, a 14.3 percent increase over the $1.9 billion recorded in the year-ago period. The company said it had strong growth in subscriber-related revenue.

Net income in the third quarter more than doubled, to $208.9 million, compared with a year-on-year $102.3 million. The increase was driven by the revenue growth, said the company.

EchoStar said the Dish Network added about 255,000 net new subscribers in the third quarter, compared with about 350,000 in the same period last year, down 27.1 percent, due primarily to the increase in subscriber churn on a larger subscriber base and the estimated impact of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Monthly churn for the quarter climbed to 1.86 percent, up from 1.77 percent year-on-year.

Company total subscribers climbed to 11.7 million at the end of the third quarter, compared with 10.5 million at the end of the same period last year.

In the current reporting period, subscriber acquisition costs increased by 6.2 percent to $986.7 million, compared with $929 million in the same quarter the prior year. The increase was due primarily to the increase in number of Dish Network subscribers, which resulted in increased expenses to support the network.

Average revenue per subscriber rose to $57.78 in the three months, up from $56.11 in the third quarter a year ago. Average subscriber acquisition costs moved up to $447, compared with $421 year-over-year.

For the nine months, revenue hit $6.2 billion, a 19.7 percent jump over the $5.2 billion reported in the same period a year earlier.

Net income for the nine months rose to $1.4 billion, compared with $144.7 million last year.

Net subscriber additions for the nine months dropped 23.3 percent to 805,000, from 1.1 million in the same nine months in 2004.

Monthly churn edged up to 1.67 percent, from 1.66 percent for the nine months year-on-year, while average revenue per subscriber hit $57.75 in the period vs. $54.54 in 2004. Average subscriber acquisition costs for the nine months dropped to $433, from $458 in the same period the prior year.

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