Dish profit tops estimates as fewer pay-TV subscribers drop out

Earnings

Dish Networks exhibit at CES 2016 in Las Vegas.

Justin Solomon | CNBC

U.S. satellite TV provider Dish Network’s quarterly results beat Wall Street estimates on Wednesday, as it lost fewer pay-TV subscribers.

Dish has been struggling to retain subscribers for its pay-TV business, as customers shift to online streaming services including those from Netflix, Walt Disney, and Apple.

The company’s pay-TV business, which includes satellite TV and Sling TV, lost a net of 194,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter, fewer than the 334,000 it lost a year earlier.

The company lost 94,000 subscribers in its Sling TV streaming service in the quarter, compared with an addition of 47,000 during the same period last year.

Dish awaits the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint Corp, as the companies received the green light from a federal judge on Tuesday to complete the deal. The merger includes Dish acquiring Sprint’s prepaid businesses to create the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the United States.

Net income attributable to the company rose to $389 million, or 69 cents per share, from $337 million, or 64 cents per share, in the previous year.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 59 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Total revenue fell 2.1% to $3.24 billion in the quarter from $3.31 billion a year earlier, beating analysts’ average estimate of $3.15 billion.

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