(DISH earnings article updated with analysts comments and information from the conference call.)
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (
) -- The cable and satellite industry is struggling to hold onto current subscribers, let alone bring in new ones, as television programming becomes more accessible on the Internet.
stock dipped heavily today after investors became wary on the news that it lost subscribers in the second quarter.
Dish had added subscribers for five consecutive quarters, but lost 19,000 subscribers in this quarter, bringing its customer base down to 14.3 million. Management attributed the subscriber loss to "increased competitive intensity."
Craig Moffett, an analyst at
Sanford C. Bernstein
, said that Dish's results reflect the recent trend of pay-TV subscribers. The major companies in the cable and satellite industry reported an aggregate loss of 3,000 subscribers in the second quarter. This is down from last year's gain of 426,000 subscribers.
"This is, to our knowledge, the first quarterly loss of subscribers ever reported for the industry as a whole," the Sanford C. Bernstein report stated.
analyst Marci Ryvicker said that from the company's earnings conference call she inferred that there is clearly "investor frustration as to the lack of visibility and access to management." There is also "the thought that DISH is better suited as a private versus a public company."
On the call, management said that there is more of a focus on costs this quarter, but according to Ryvicker "there has not been a '180' in terms of overall strategy," which is most likely leading to dissatisfaction among investors.
For the quarter ended June 30, the company saw earnings rise more than 80% to $234.2 million, or 57 cents per diluted share, compared with earnings of $129.9 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, in the same period a year ago. Earnings were ahead of analyst estimates of 53 cents a share.
Revenue rose 9.1% to $3.17 billion from $2.90 billion during the quarter. The company had a 9.1% increase in subscriber-related revenue to $3.14 billion from $2.88 billion. Expenses due to the ongoing lawsuit with
over the DVR patent were down 84.4% which helped to boost operating income 100.1%.
For the first half of the year, earnings rose 13.3% to $483.1 million, or $1.09 a share, compared with earnings of $426.4 million, or 84 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.
Revenue rose 7.2% to $6.23 billion from $5.81 billion.
Dish Network added about 218,000 net subscribers for the first half of the year, compared to a loss of approximately 68,000 net subscribers for the same period in 2009.
Changes in consumer behavior with regard to the how they obtain video entertainment have negatively impacted the company's business. As a result, Dish is working on its "TV Everywhere" service to compete in the changing television market. The service will allow subscribers access to its programming on their mobile devices and is expected to launch in October. It will require a Slingbox, a set-top box offered by Sling Media and EchoStar. Dish split from
in December 2007.
Dish Network shares plummeted in morning trading and are down more than 10% to around $18.70.
-- Reported by Theresa McCabe in Boston.
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