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EchoStar returns to profit in fourth quarter

Fri, 02/25/2011 - 7:25am
The Associated Press

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – EchoStar Corp., which sells set-top boxes and also provides satellite services to Dish Network Corp., said Thursday that it returned to a profit in the final three months of the year as costs declined.

EchoStar, which was spun off from Dish in January 2008, reported net income of $168.9 million, or $1.98 per share, for the October-through-December period. In the prior year's quarter, EchoStar posted a loss of $30.4 million, or 37 cents per share.

Revenue slid 8 percent to $513.2 million from $557.9 million in the year-ago quarter.
For the full year, EchoStar said net income dropped 44 percent to $204.4 million from $364.7 million in 2009. Annual revenue rose 24 percent to $2.4 billion from $1.9 billion in the prior year.

EchoStar said earlier this month that it will buy satellite Internet services company Hughes Communications Inc. for about $1.34 billion so it can boost its ability to transport data and video via broadband. And Dish Network Corp., whose chairman Charles Ergen also chairs EchoStar, agreed to buy satellite communications company DBSD North America Inc. for $1 billion on Feb. 1, making it the second satellite deal for Ergen in about two weeks.

EchoStar's shares increased $2.72, or 8.6 percent, to close at $34.19.

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