DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) reported revenue totaling $3.24 billion for the quarter ending December 31, 2019, compared to $3.31 billion for the corresponding period in 2018. Net income attributable to DISH Network totaled $389 million for the fourth quarter 2019, compared to $337 million from the year-ago quarter. Diluted earnings per share were $0.69 for the fourth quarter, compared to $0.64 per share during the same period of 2018.
Analysts held back on their enthusiasm. Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson said his firm has always been skeptical about DISH’s claims that they can build a network for just $10B. “Sure, virtualization will help significantly reduce Dish’s cost of equipment. But here’s the rub. Equipment is only 20 percent or so of the cost of building a network,” Moffett said. “The rest – labor, tower leases, powering, zoning and siting, and backhaul – doesn’t benefit from virtualization. The costly part of building any network isn’t equipment, it’s public works. Verizon and AT&T have each spent something like $200B over the past decade on building their networks,” he said. Moffett said both are now considerably virtualized and each spends more on annual maintenance, on networks that are already built, than DISH is planning to spend on building a network from scratch.
“DISH currently has about 600 people on its wireless team,” Moffett said. “Verizon currently has 600 people working on small cell zoning.”
The company closed the fourth quarter with 11.99 million Pay-TV subscribers, including 9.40 million DISH TV subscribers and 2.59 million Sling TV subscribers. Net Pay-TV subscribers decreased by approximately 194,000 in the fourth quarter, compared to a net decrease of 334,000 in the year-ago quarter.
Full-Year 2019 review showed that DISH reported 2019 total revenue of $12.81 billion, compared to $13.62 billion in 2018. Net income attributable to DISH Network in 2019 was $1.40 billion, compared to $1.58 billion in 2018. Diluted earnings per share were $2.60 in 2019, compared to $3.00 in 2018.
Detailed financial data and other information are available in DISH Network’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019. A webcast replay of DISH’s financial conference will be available on DISH’s Investor Relations website, and will remain available for 48 hours.
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