Dish Network Beats Earnings Expectations, Profit Doubles While Subscribers Dip

Profit for second-largest U.S. satellite TV operator grows to $351 million in first quarter of 2015

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Dish Network has seen a subscriber loss of 134,000, compared to a year ago, but doubled net income gains, according to first quarter 2015 financials released Monday.

The traditional cable alternative bested predictions from Wall Street, which said it would report $0.40 per share on $3.74 billion in revenue, according to Yahoo Finance. Dish reported $0.76 per share while reporting $3.7 billion in revenue, up from $3.6 billion a year ago.

Net income rose to $351 million for the quarter that ended March 31, compared to $176 million for the same period a year ago.

But subscribers dipped for the fourth quarter in a row; the company had 13.8 million pay-TV subscribers compared to 14.1 year-over-year.  Dish added 554,000 gross new pay-TV subscribers compared to approximately 639,000 gross new pay-TV compared to the same time last year — a 134,000 loss.

On its earnings call, CEO Charlie Ergen said he’s confident his company followed the rules in regards to a recent setting auction, where Dish Network and a slew of smaller companies that won over $13 billion in bids, trailing only AT&T’s $18.2 billon.

He said Dish’s dispute with Fox News, which ended in the beginning of the quarter, had negative impacts, but the company was prepared to live without the number-one cable news network, as the original deal “didn’t make sense” for Dish.

“We knew Fox News was going to have an effect on our business, it was probably the No. 2 channel we didn’t want to take down as a company. But we’ll take anything down if it’s a horrible deal,” he said.