Dish Network Corp. (DISH) second-quarter earnings rose 30% on a double-digit increase in revenue despite a drop in net subscribers, while its former unit EchoStar Corp. (SATS) swung to a profit.
The satellite-television provider is attempting to attract more affluent customers who are willing to spend more each month on video and less likely cancel their service, a reversal of its prior strategy to sign up lower-end customers, who were hit during the economic downturn. Dish also acquired the assets of Blockbuster out of bankruptcy in April, and the video-rental chain has been slashing its prices amid fierce competition from Netflix Inc. (NFLX) and vending-machine operator Redbox, a unit of Coinstar Inc. (CSTR).
Dish reported a profit of $335 million, or 75 cents a share, up from $257 million, or 57 cents, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 13% to $3.59 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast earnings of 79 cents on revenue of $3.41 billion.
The company lost a net 135,000 subscribers during the second quarter, cutting its customer base to 14.1 million. Dish attributed the decrease to increased competitive pressures, including higher levels of discounting, and said it is freezing prices through January 2013.
Meanwhile, EchoStar--the maker of set-top boxes that was spun off from Dish at the beginning of 2008--posted a profit of $18 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with a loss of $41 million, or 49 cents, a year earlier. Revenue dropped 3.1% to $584 million.
Shares of Dish and EchoStar closed Monday at $22.64 and $25.26, respectively. Both were inactive premarket.
-By Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2283; email@example.com