DISH Network’s DISH fourth-quarter 2019 results are expected to reflect the negative impact of persistent subscriber loss due to stiff competition and cord-cutting in the Pay-TV industry.
However, an expanding Sling TV subscriber base is expected to have aided the top line in the to-be-reported quarter.
Notably, DISH’s subscriber loss increased in the last reported quarter. Total Pay-TV subscribers were 12.180 million, down 3.8% year over year. However, Sling TV subscribers increased 13.3% year over year to 2.686 million.
For the fourth quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues currently stands at $3.17 billion, suggesting a decline of 4.3% from the figure reported in the year-ago quarter.
Moreover, the consensus mark for fourth-quarter earnings has been steady at 62 cents over the past 30 days, indicating a decline of 3.1% from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.
Notably, the company’s earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in two of the trailing four quarters, surpassed in one and matched in the remainder, the average negative surprise being 0.4%.
Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.
Factors to Consider
DISH’s efforts to diversify business from being a pure-play satellite-TV operator to an Internet TV operator are not expected to have provided any meaningful impetus to its growth prospects in the fourth quarter.
The company is likely to have continued losing Pay-TV subscribers to online video streaming and on-demand content providers such as Netflix NFLX, Hulu and YouTube. The launch of Apple TV+ and Disney+ is expected to have further intensified competition for DISH in the to-be-reported quarter.
Moreover, the bottom-line performance is expected to reflect the impact of escalating programming and content expenses along with retransmission fees.
Nevertheless, the addition of Amazon’s AMZN prime video app to Hopper 3, the company’s award-winning DVR, was a noteworthy development in the quarter. The deal expanded DISH’s catalog of integrated streaming options that already includes Netflix and Alphabet’s GOOGL YouTube and YouTube Kids.
DISH’s focus on gradually improving the value of the Hopper platform is indicated by the rollout of a software update on the platform that allows customers to access Google Assistant via DISH voice remote. The company also launched a new Google-branded voice remote to complement this new integration.
Key Q4 Developments
DISH announced price hikes and new channels for Sling TV on Dec 23, 2019.
Sling Orange and Sling Blue are now available at $30 per month each instead of $25. The main difference between the packages is that Sling Blue includes Fox and NBC broadcast and sports networks, while Sling Orange includes Disney and ESPN channels. Notably, the combo Sling Orange and Blue package is priced at $45 per month instead of $40.
Moreover, Sling TV raised the prices of most of its add-on channel packs. Sports Extra is now $15 per month, while the Sling Orange + Sling Blue bundle is available for $10 per month as an add-on to individual packages.
Moreover, later in the fourth quarter, DISH integrated Google Nest Hello doorbell to its Hopper and Wally receivers. The new update allows customers to pair their Google Nest Account with DISH Hopper or Wally and receive notifications, including an image, directly on their TVs when their Nest Hello is pressed.
DISH currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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