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EchoStar Moves Into Black

Englewood, Colo. — Dish Network satellite services provider EchoStar Communications reported a 14 percent rise in total revenue for the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, hitting $1.5 billion, up from $1.3 billion in the year-ago period.

Net income for the fourth quarter reached $3 million, compared with a year-ago net loss of $716 million.

Net income for the three months includes the effects of $51 million in charges and also includes a $56 million cost reduction associated with a change in estimated royalty obligations.

Net loss for the same period the previous year includes charges of $690 million for the termination of the merger with Hughes Electronics.

For the 12 months, EchoStar recorded total revenue of $5.7 billion, a 19 percent jump over the $4.8 billion reported in 2002.

Net income for the 12 months reached $224.5 million, compared with a net loss of $852 million year-on-year.

Net income in 2003 includes the effects of $97 million in charges, the $56 million cost reduction and an additional $34 million cost reduction related to a litigation settlement. Net loss for 2002 includes the $690 million.

Earlier this month, EchoStar’s Dish Network satellite TV service reported the addition of about 340,000 net new subscribers in this past fourth quarter. This increase brought the company’s total subscriber base to 9.4 million at the end of 2003, about 15 percent higher than the 8.2 million subscribers on board at the end of the year-ago period.

Also, EchoStar earlier reported it had agreed to reverse an accrual of $30 million in expenses, on a pre-tax basis in 2002, relating to the replacement of security cards in leased set-top boxes.