EchoStar Q3 Profit Nearly Triples

Nov 9, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Satellite operator EchoStar Communications on Tuesday said its profit nearly tripled in the third quarter as the company announced plans to issue to shareholders a one-time dividend.

EchoStar’s profit was $102 million for the third quarter, up from a year-earlier figure of $35 million, sparked largely by a gain in subscribers of 350,000 during the quarter to reach 10.5 million subscribers. Revenue climbed 28 percent to $1.9 billion.

While the company declined to provide any specifics, EchoStar officials said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that its bundling partnership with telephone company SBC Communications accounting for a “material” portion of the subscriber ads booked in the quarter.

That partnership features SBC selling its voice and high-speed data services in a bundle with EchoStar’s video offering in a bid to compete with a similar triple-play package being offered by cable operators.

However, the company warned that SBC’s contribution to EchoStar’s growth might decline next year as the telephone company moves ahead with plans to install fiber wiring in homes as part of its plan to deliver video services to residential customers. EchoStar said that as those plans take shape, it expects SBC to de-emphasize the bundling package.

Meanwhile, EchoStar also said Tuesday that it would pay shareholders a dividend worth $455 million. The dividend, which amounts to $1 per share, will be paid on Dec. 14 to shareholders of record on Dec. 8.