The direct satellite broadcaster said the dividend would total $455 million and be payable on Dec. 14 to shareholders of record Dec. 8.
For its third quarter ended Sept. 30, the Englewood, Colo., company said earnings jumped to $102 million, or 22 cents a share, from the year-earlier $35 million, or 7 cents a share. The earnings were a penny shy of the Wall Street analyst consensus estimate provided by Thomson First Call.
Revenue for EchoStar, which operates the Dish Network satellite service, rose 28% from a year ago to $1.86 billion, which was ahead of the $1.81 billion Wall Street estimate.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization amounted to $327.4 million for the quarter, up from $261 million one year earlier. Analysts had been expecting $332 million.
The company said it added 350,000 net new subscribers during the third quarter, coming in at the high end of analysts' estimates. Dish now has a total of 10.475 million subscribers.
The churn rate, or the percentage of customers who drop their service each month, amounted to 1.77% for the quarter, up from 1.72% in the third quarter of 2003 and at the high end of expectations.
Subscriber acquisition costs per gross subscriber addition, as calculated by most analysts, rose to $588 in the third quarter from $500 a year ago. Analysts surveyed by
had forecast SAC to be in the range of $615 to $645.
Average monthly revenue per subscriber, or ARPU, rose from $50.88 a year ago to $56.11 in the latest quarter, in line with expectations.
On Tuesday, EchoStar's shares rose 48 cents to $30.50.