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EchoStar profits on new subs

Wed, 03/16/2005 - 7:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

EchoStar Communications Corp. said Q4 revenues rose 28 percent to $1.93 billion, while net income jumped from $3 million (1 cent per share) a year ago to $70 million (15 cents per share).

The DBS company added a better than expected 430,000 net new subs in the quarter, giving it 10.9 million total as of Dec. 31, 2004. In January, the company announced it had surpassed the 11 million mark.

EchoStar is under audit review after discovering a "significant deficiency" in internal financial reporting controls in one instance of payments made to a vendor in prior years. The SEC opened an inquiry into EchoStar's accounting on March 10.

"We believe EchoStar's accounting policies are generally more conservative than its peers and, accordingly, we would be surprised if anything material comes out of it," Smith Barney Analyst Niraj Gupta wrote in a research note.

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