* First-quarter rev $3.68 bln vs est. $3.78 bln
* EPS 76 cents vs est. 69 cents
* Shares down 2.3 pct
(Adds Breakingviews link, updates share prices)
By Anjali Athavaley
May 1 Dish Network Corp would consider
various options for its wireless airwaves, its chief executive
said on Monday, after the U.S. satellite TV provider reported
quarterly revenue that missed analysts' estimates as it lost
more subscribers than expected.
Dish has been buying up spectrum, or radio frequencies that
carry the data flowing through devices, making it a potential
acquisition target for a U.S. wireless carriers such as Verizon
Communications Inc and T-Mobile US Inc ,
according to industry analysts.
Dish was the second-largest winner in the U.S. Federal
Communications Commission auction of broadcaster airwaves this
year, bidding $6.2 billion to increase its spectrum holdings.
Companies taking part in the auction were restrained from
holding merger talks for over a year until the ban ended last
week. On the company's post-earnings conference call, Dish Chief
Executive Charlie Ergen declined to comment on whether it had
been approached by other companies.
But when asked whether Dish would prefer to sell or leasing
its spectrum as opposed to keeping it, he said that the company
was open to options that would ultimately increase shareholder
"At least today, we think that means someone looking at the
wireless world in a disruptive manner," Ergen said.
He also acknowledged that there could be more consolidation
in the wireless industry, including a merger between T-Mobile
and rival Sprint Corp, and said Dish would look to see if
such a deal hurt competition.
The company said it lost about 143,000 net pay-TV
subscribers in its first quarter through March 31, after losing
23,000 a year earlier. The number was roughly double analysts'
average estimate of a loss of 72,000 subscribers, according to
financial data and analytics firm FactSet.
Churn, or the rate of customer defections among pay-TV
subscribers, rose to 1.69 percent in the quarter, from 1.63
percent a year earlier.
Net income attributable to Dish fell to $376 million, or 76
cents a share, in the quarter, from $400 million, or 86 cents a
share, a year earlier.
Revenue fell 3.9 pct to $3.68 billion from $3.83 billion.
Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 69 cents
per share on revenue of $3.78 billion, according to Thomson
Dish shares fell 2.3 percent to close at $62.93. The stock
has surged more than 26 percent in the past 12 months.
(Additional reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Laharee
Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Marguerita Choy and