EchoStar Communications Corp. share prices rose in midday trading Tuesday
following an analyst call with CEO Charlie Ergen on the company's
EchoStar reported $805 million in total revenue for the quarter ended Dec.
31, 2000, and pre-marketing cash flow of $303 million. Due to higher
subscriber-acquisition costs, the company posted negative EBITDA (earnings
before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $42 million for the
quarter and an operating loss of $114 million.
An upbeat Ergen said he expected the company to report positive EBITDA by the
end of 2001. He also projected that average revenue per subscriber would
increase to about $50 per month for the company's Dish Network direct-broadcast
EchoStar added 495,000 net new subscribers in the last quarter of 2000,
ending the year with 5.26 million Dish customers. That marks a 13 percent growth
in subscriber acquisitions over the same quarter in 1999.
Although he would not give exact figures, Ergen said the company kept its
monthly churn for the year in the 1.5 percent range.
Ergen predicted that the company would see more operational efficiencies
going forward. 'When the economy slows down, that's when we'll make our breakout
as a company,' he added.
Dish celebrated its five-year anniversary as a multichannel-video-service
provider earlier this month.