Dish Network Subscribers Dip, But Related Revenue Rises in Q4

Net income for second-largest U.S. satellite TV operator grows from 2013’s comparable three-month period; EPS tops forecasts

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Dish Network released its fourth quarter 2014 financials on Monday morning before the market opened, posting a subscriber loss, but related revenue and net income gains from last year.

The traditional cable alternative bested Wall Street’s earnings per share (EPS) predictions, though it slightly missed the mark on revenue — despite growing sales dollars and profit from the comparable quarter last year.

The industry’s consensus forecast had the second-largest satellite TV operator in the U.S. targeting EPS of $0.43 on $3.70 billion in revenue. Dish topped the EPS estimate easily, posting $0.88, but it fell shy on revenue, reporting $3.681 billion. The company banked $409.9 million in net income for the most-recent 90-something days.

All three metrics are up from 2013’s fourth quarter, when Dish had $0.63 of earnings per share on revenue of $3.538 billion. Then, the company posted net income of $288 million.

Not all important numbers rose, however. As of Dec. 31, 2014 — also the company’s fiscal year-end — Dish had 13.978 million subscribers. A year ago that total was 14.057 million. Still, drilled-down subscriber-related revenue increased from last year’s comparable three-month quarter: $3.6 billion (and change) versus $3.5 billion.

In addition to its financials, the company also revealed early on Monday that Founder and Chairman Charlie Ergen would be stepping back into the day-to-day roles of President and CEO, succeeding Joe Clayton at the end of March.

On Friday, Dish stock (DISH) closed at $78.30, up $0.74 or 0.95 percent.

Earlier this month, the company renewed its deal with Epix, bringing the service to its Sling TV, Dish’s over-the-top service announced in January. Later last month, Dish struck a new deal with Fox News, bringing the channel back aboard after a three-week blackout.

The Dish Network investors call took place Monday at noon ET, when Ergen specified that he does not plan on maintaining his again-role of president indefinitely.