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In Financial News.…

Wed, 05/01/2002 - 8:00pm
Staff

A cloud of uncertainty is still hovering over the telecommunications market, so it stands to reason that quarterly results would offer a mixed bag. The latest to report: Cablevision Systems and EchoStar Communications.

Cablevision Systems Corp.

System upgrades continue to have an affect on Cablevision's quarterly results. The company posted a net loss of $249.6 million, compared with net income of $1.13 billion a year earlier. On a brighter note, revenue increased from $1.05 billion in Q1 2001 to $1.1 billion. Cablevision reports its telecommunications revenue was $593.1 million, a 13 percent increase from a year ago.

The company ended the quarter with 560,000 high-speed data customers.

EchoStar Communications Corp.

Satellite powerhouse EchoStar Communications Corp. saw its first quarter 2002 loss narrow, fueled partly by strong subscriber growth and increased revenue.

Last year in the first quarter, EchoStar posted a loss of $169.9 million, or 36 cents a share, but for the quarter ended March 31 its loss was trimmed to $38.6 million, or 20 cents a share. Revenue increased from $861.9 million in Q1 2001 to $1.1 billion, a 28 percent jump.

The company added 335,000 new subscribers to its basic satellite service to end the quarter with a subscriber base of 7.16 million.

In October, General Motors officially accepted EchoStar's $25.8 billion offer for Hughes Electronics. The merger is designed to combine the two largest satellite providers — both of which are offering high-speed Internet access via two-way satellite — to create a powerhouse that could effectively compete with cable and increase broadband options for rural Americans, according to EchoStar. EchoStar submitted its merger application for review to the FCC in early December. In April, the FCC said it was delaying its review until further public comment is gathered. It was the second delay in three months.

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