Dish Network's Q1 profit up 65%; subscribers down


Dish Network’s Q1 net income was up 65% even though new subscriber growth of plunged. EchoStar reported net income of $259 million, or 58 cents a share, compared with net income of $157 million, or 35 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2007. Revenue totaled $2.84 billion, up 7.6% from $2.64 billion a year ago.

The results beat estimates from analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, who had predicted net income of 52 cents a share on revenue of $2.83 billion.

Subscribers totaled 13.8 million, up 3% from the end of March 2007. However, the net total of new subscribers was 35,000, down 88.7% from the 310,000 net new subscribers in Q1 2007.

Churn rate increased to 1.68% from 1.46% in the year-ago quarter.

"Subscriber growth has been affected by worsening economic conditions, including the slowdown in new housing starts as well as by operational inefficiencies at Dish Network, signal piracy and other forms of fraud," Dish Network said in its filing.

Average revenue per subscriber was $67.93 for the quarter, up 5.9% from the first quarter of 2007, while the average acquisition cost per new subscriber was $709, up 6.9%.