DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH) revealed a 24% increase in fourth-quarter profit and added 22,000 subscribers, marking an optimistic turnaround after several quarters of declines that cost it hundreds of thousands of customers.
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The Englewood, Colo.-based pay-TV provider reported net income of $313 million, or 70 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier $252 million, or 56 cents.
The results were stronger than the 61 cents predicted on average by analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll.
Revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 was up 13% to $3.63 billion from $3.21 billion a year ago, just beating the Street’s view of $3.63 billion.
DISH chief executive, Joe Clayton, attributed the gains to the new Blockbuster-branded services that have allowed it to “turn the tide in subscriber losses while continuing to face increased competitive pressures.”
Clayton, who took over for billionaire Charlie Ergen when he resigned last May, acquired Blockbuster in a bankruptcy auction last year.
The company added 22,000 net subscribers during the quarter, more than analysts had expected, giving the company 13.97 million subscribers by the end of 2011.
For the full year, though, net customers were still down about 166,000 year-over-year.
The company continues to face competition from rivals DirecTV (NYSE:DTV), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), as well as new market arrivals such as movie streamers Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Hulu.