Dish’s earnings dip in Q3, subscribers grow
Dish Network’s third-quarter revenue was down 1.5 percent, but the nation’s second-largest satellite video provider did add 241,000 new subscribers during the quarter.
Dish today reported total revenue of $2.89 billion for the quarter ended Sept. 30, which was a 1.5 percent decrease compared with $2.94 billion for the corresponding period in 2008.
Dish earned $81 million, or 18 cents per share, during the third quarter, compared with $92 million, or 20 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.
While cable operators have been losing basic subscribers, Dish added 241,000 subs in Q3 – which is more than DirecTV Group brought in – to bring its total to 13.85 million subscribers.
DirecTV, the nation's largest satellite TV operator, reported last week that its third-quarter revenue grew 10 percent  in the third quarter as it added 136,000 new subscribers, but its results suffered from higher marketing costs used to attract them.
Separately, Dish issued a one-time dividend of $2 per share that will be paid out Dec. 2 to shareholders of record on Nov. 20.
Meanwhile, Dish’s sister company EchoStar Corp. booked a profit for the third quarter, reversing a year-earlier loss with gains on investments and falling expenses.
The company – which provides set-top boxes and satellite services to Dish – earned $294 million, or $3.45 per share, in Q3. That compares with a loss of $308 million, or $3.43 per share, a year ago.
Investment gains in the most recent quarter, which ended Sept. 30, came to $232.4 million, compared with losses of $150.3 million the year before.
Revenue fell 22 percent to $483 million, compared with $616 million a year ago. But expenses fell 26 percent to $486.8 million from $657.3 million.
EchoStar shares rose 62 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $20.50 in midday trading.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report