SuperDish Delays Pound EchoStar

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EchoStar Communications Corp. shares dipped more than 6% ($1.98) to $30.44 on Dec. 15 amid concern the No. 2 direct-broadcast satellite service provider's SuperDish Ka-band service would experience more delays.

"People are worried about the SuperDish working at all," said one analyst who asked not to be named. "They're worried that the delays in the third quarter might get pushed into the first quarter of next year."

Adding to pressure on the stock: A research report from SoundView Technology Corp., restating a neutral rating on EchoStar, mostly because of the SuperDish issue.

EchoStar's "typical third-quarter and fourth-quarter marketing push did not materialize, as new product delays, inventory problems and functional issues with the new SuperDish antenna forced a slowdown in marketing," SoundView said.

But Banc of America Securities analyst Doug Shapiro thought the SuperDish concerns were "overdone, because our checks suggest they are temporary and we believe they probably had relatively little impact this quarter."

That helped boost the stock on Dec. 17 to $31.70, less than a dollar below its Dec. 12 close of $32.42.

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