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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nasdaq  >  DISH Network Corporation    DISH


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Sling TV Boosts Dish Subscriber Count -- Update

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11/07/2019 | 06:02pm EST

By Drew FitzGerald

Dish Network Corp. posted a surprise customer gain in the third quarter as its internet-TV business overshadowed accounts lost on the satellite side.

Overall, the company posted a net gain of 148,000 pay-TV customers during the three months that ended Sept. 30, its first such increase since 2017. That included a loss of 66,000 satellite-TV customers while internet-based Sling TV added 214,000 customers. Dish ended the period with 12.2 million pay-TV subscribers.

Financial analysts expected the company to post a loss of 162,000 subscribers, according to an average of estimates compiled by FactSet.

Dish's earnings have come under pressure in recent years as satellite-TV customers drop their channel bundles in search of cheaper alternatives. Some have stopped paying for live TV altogether.

Rival channel bundlers have suffered more defections, however. AT&T Inc. reported a loss of 1.4 million pay-TV customers over the same third-quarter period, a figure that included customer declines in its online TV service.

AT&T recently increased prices for its AT&T TV Now streaming video service, while Sony Corp. said it would scrap its PlayStation Vue streaming service. Dish has also raised Sling TV prices, though its basic packages still attract cost-conscious customers with plans as low as $25 a month.

Dish's earnings fell as it traded satellite subscribers for gains at Sling TV. Its average revenue per user slipped to $85.29 during the quarter from $86.29 a year earlier.

Dish reported a third-quarter profit of $353.3 million, or 66 cents a share, down from $431.7 million, or 82 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 6.7% to $3.17 billion.

Growth at Dish was under pressure last year as the company fought with Univision over carriage rates. The two sides struck a deal in March to restore the Spanish-language channels.

The company resolved a standoff with Fox Corp. earlier this year that threatened the airing of National Football League games. It continued to negotiate with Fox over carriage of its regional sports networks. Fox Corp. and Wall Street Journal parent News Corp share common ownership.

Other disputes have lasted longer. AT&T-owned HBO has been unavailable through Dish or Sling for more than a year.

Dish executives said Thursday that cord-cutting helped boost growth at Sling, which highlights the value of its "skinny" channel bundles. Chief Executive Erik Carlson said he couldn't remember a recent quarter in which the company hadn't entered a programming spat with a channel owner as the company focuses on managing its costs.

"We make hard decisions," Mr. Carlson said in a call with analysts. "These are decisions that we've made to try to grow our customer relationships in a profitable manner."

Mr. Ergen has focused much of the past few months on Dish's planned wireless business. The still-unbuilt wireless network could be bolstered by assets divested by Sprint Corp. if the cellphone carrier is able to close its planned merger with rival T-Mobile US Inc.

Dish said Thursday that it would raise about $1 billion through newly issued shares to help pay for the new wireless venture, among other uses. The company said Mr. Ergen, who owns about 52% of the company, will fully exercise his rights to participate in the stock offering.

Dish shares rose 3.5% to $34.69 Thursday. They have climbed nearly 40% so far this year.

Write to Drew FitzGerald at andrew.fitzgerald@wsj.com

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AT&T 0.03% 38.2 Delayed Quote.33.85%
DISH NETWORK CORPORATION -0.03% 33.59 Delayed Quote.34.52%
NEWS CORPORATION 1.62% 13.21 Delayed Quote.16.39%
SONY CORPORATION -0.28% 7068 End-of-day quote.37.30%
SPRINT CORPORATION 2.22% 5.53 Delayed Quote.-4.98%
T-MOBILE US 1.04% 77.74 Delayed Quote.22.21%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2019 12 719 M
EBIT 2019 1 794 M
Net income 2019 1 360 M
Debt 2019 11 692 M
Yield 2019 -
P/E ratio 2019 13,3x
P/E ratio 2020 16,7x
EV / Sales2019 2,22x
EV / Sales2020 2,21x
Capitalization 16 562 M
Duration : Period :
DISH Network Corporation Technical Analysis Chart | MarketScreener
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Technical analysis trends DISH NETWORK CORPORATION
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 21
Average target price 42,75  $
Last Close Price 33,59  $
Spread / Highest target 186%
Spread / Average Target 27,3%
Spread / Lowest Target -22,6%
EPS Revisions
W. Erik Carlson President & Chief Executive Officer
Charles William Ergen Executive Chairman
John Swieringa Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President
Paul W. Orban Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Atilla Tinic Chief Information Officer & Senior Vice President
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)