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EchoStar Loss Narrows; Sales Rise 56% as Customers Sign On

March 14, 2001|From Bloomberg News

LITTLETON, COLO. — EchoStar Communications Corp. said its fourth-quarter loss narrowed and sales rose 56% as the No. 2 U.S. satellite broadcaster signed up more customers for its television dishes and service.

The loss narrowed to $172.3 million, or 36 cents a share, from $220 million, or 48 cents, in the year-earlier period, the company said in a statement distributed by Business Wire. Revenue rose 56% to $805.4 million from $514.9 million.

EchoStar, which operates the Dish Network satellite-TV service, added 495,000 customers in the fourth quarter for a total of 5.3 million, though that was less than the 500,000 that three analysts expected. The company expects to add 1.5 million to 2 million customers this year, it said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Subscriber additions were near what was expected, but what I think people will want to know is what's the momentum for [making a profit from new customers] into the first quarter," said Mark Greenberg, manager of the Invesco Leisure Fund at Invesco Funds Group, which owns EchoStar shares.

Shares of Littleton, Colo.-based EchoStar rose $1.38 to close at $27.88 on Nasdaq.

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