EchoStar Notches Smaller Q1 Gain

The satellite TV growth slowdown continues unabated in 2006. Just a week after DirecTV reported modest growth for the fourth straight quarter, EchoStar did the same earlier today. EchoStar, the nation's number two DBS provider, netted just 225,000 new subscribers in the first quarter, down from 330,000 in the final quarter of 2005 and 325,000 in the same period last year. The increase boosted the satellite TV operator's total customer count close to 12.3 million, putting it slightly over 3 million subscribers behind DirecTV. Thanks to its continued subscriber gains, EchoStar reported that its total revenue reached $2.29 billion for the quarter, up 13% from its year-ago results. But the company's net income fell to $147 million, down substantially from $318 million a year earlier. EchoStar noted that this year's income total included $97 million in one-time charges while last year's figure included a special gain of $134 million.

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