Dish Network (DISH) Trumps Expectations With Subscriber Surprise

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Dish Network (DISH) restored investor confidence with a surprise boost to its subscriber count. The pay-TV provider reported an additional 35,000 subscribers for the third quarter, compared to market estimations of a loss of 39,000 subscribers.  In its broadband division, it topped 75,000 additional subscribers, increasing 24% sequentially and exceeding estimates of 62,000.

Expectations were low after the cable provider reported a total loss of 78,000 customers in the second quartr, a result of increasing competition in its primary pay-TV unit. In the current quarter, average revenue per pay-TV subscriber rose 5.3% to $81.05 from $76.99 in the year-ago quarter.

The Englewood, Colo.-based business brought in third-quarter profit of 68 cents a share on $3.6 billion in revenue. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for earnings of 43 cents a share on revenue of $3.58 billion.

Last week, the company announced it was closing all 300 company-owned Blockbuster stores as it moves out of the physical distribution business to focus on its more profitable digital and streaming units.

In premarket trading, Dish shares had climbed 3.6% to $49.20.

TheStreet Ratings team rates DISH NETWORK CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate DISH NETWORK CORP (DISH) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and generally higher debt management risk."

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