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EchoStar Earnings Up in Q2

Satellite pay-TV operator EchoStar Communications saw its earnings jump 33% in the second quarter on higher revenues.

Revenue in the second quarter rose 12% to $2.67 billion from $2.47 billion in the year-ago period. Expenses rose 9.5% over the same period to $2.32 billion, resulting in operating income that rose 26% to $441 million from $349 million.

Net income rose 33% to $244.2 million from $168.8 million.

The company reported EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $769.4 million, up 25% from $613.3 million a year ago. The EBITDA margin was 28.7% in the quarter versus 14% last year.

Cash flow from operating activities was $1.189 billion versus $1.149 billion in the same period last year.

The number of net new Dish Network subscribers in the quarter was 170,000, bringing the total subscriber base to 13.585 million. The average monthly subscriber-churn rate dropped to 1.68% from 1.7% in Q2 2006. The average monthly revenue per subscriber (ARPU) was $66.06 versus $62.91 in Q2 2006, reflecting package-price increases, increased penetration of HD programming and greater availability of local channels. Subscriber-acquisition costs dropped to $645 per subscriber from $683.