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EchoStar's net income plunges 33%

November 08, 2006|From the Associated Press

Satellite television operator EchoStar Communications Corp., which operates the Dish network, said Tuesday that its third-quarter profit tumbled 33% compared with the year-earlier period, which was boosted by a tax benefit.

Net income fell to $140 million, or 31 cents a share, from $209 million, or 46 cents, a year earlier.

Last year's results were aided by a tax benefit of $73 million.

Quarterly revenue rose 16% to $2.47 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were looking for earnings of 38 cents a share on sales of $2.44 billion.

The Englewood, Colo.-based company said it added 295,000 subscribers, ending the quarter with about 12.8 million subscribers.

In its earnings filing, EchoStar said future results could be affected by court battles over distant programming and a TiVo Inc. patent.

Last month, a federal judge in Florida ordered EchoStar to stop offering customers network programming from providers that are distant from them. EchoStar said Tuesday that it would have to cut off distant network channels to about 900,000 subscribers unless it could reverse the ruling through the courts, legislation or other means.

In August, a federal judge in Texas ordered EchoStar to pay TiVo $89.6 million in a lawsuit alleging that EchoStar and certain subsidiaries violated TiVo's patent for storing and playing back television programming. EchoStar has appealed.

EchoStar shares rose 67 cents to $35.98.


* Revlon Inc. said its loss widened in the third quarter, dragged down by costs related to its dumping of its new cosmetics line for older women and other restructuring and management severance costs. The New York-based company, which is controlled by financier Ron Perelman, lost $100.5 million, or 24 cents a share, compared with a loss of $65.4 million, or 17 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose 11% to $305.9 million.

* Tenet Healthcare Corp. narrowed its third-quarter loss but continued to struggle to attract doctors and patients, with admissions falling more than 3%. The Dallas-based company said it lost $89 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with a loss of $401 million, or 85 cents, a year earlier. Revenue fell nearly 2% to $2.12 billion.

* Sara Lee Corp. said its fiscal first-quarter net income more than quadrupled, buoyed by a hefty tax benefit and sales gains across all business segments. The Chicago-based maker of Ball Park hot dogs, Hillshire Farm deli meats and the company's namesake desserts and breads said earnings totaled $333 million, or 44 cents a share, up from $67 million, or 9 cents, last year. Revenue rose 5% to $2.89 billion.

* Wild Oats Markets Inc. reported third-quarter profit of $3.1 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with $82,000, or nil per share, a year earlier. Sales rose 4.8% to $291.8 million. The Boulder, Colo.-based company said it would sell Wild Oats products at Pathmark Stores Inc. locations starting in December.

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