Dish Network: Subscribers Decline, But Stock Rises

Although Dish reported a decline of 129,000 subscribers for the third quarter -- and lower revenues, its stock was up sharply in mid-Thursday-morning trading.

In recent days, various media analysts upgraded Dish’s stock, as a number of communications companies -- T-Mobile and Verizon in particular -- are possibly looking to make a deal for Dish’s spectrum assets.

Dish Network’s stock 4.5% rose in mid-Thursday morning trading to $50.89.

Hit with outages from Hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Dish Network’s pay TV subscribers sank by 145,000 in the third quarter. The satellite pay TV provider added 16,000 in 50 U.S. states during the period.

Overall, Dish had a decline of 129,000 for the period. This lowered Dish's overall subscriber count -- satellite and digitally delivered via its Sling TV unit -- to 13.2 million from 13.6 million in the third quarter a year ago.

Scott Goldman, media analyst at Jefferies LLC, said: “Dish reported better-than-expected pay TV losses of 129,000.” This was driven by better subscriber additions at Sling TV and lower churn among its customers.

Revenue for the company sank 5% to $3.58 billion, with net income attributable to Dish sinking 7% to $297 million.

Average customer pricing for its products dropped from $89.44 to $87.23 in year-to-year third-quarter stats.

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