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3 or More Reasons Dish Network Stock Is Getting Hammered

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After reporting third-quarter earnings on Monday morning, Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH) slumped badly. Dish Network stock traded down around 15% in the premarket session after the company reported missing both the consensus earnings and revenue estimates.

Missed estimates

The consensus estimate for earnings per share of Dish stock was $0.11. The company reported a loss per fully diluted share of $0.26. In the year-ago quarter, Dish posted EPS of $0.65. For the first nine months of 2023, EPS totals $0.44, compared to a three-quarter total last year of $2.15.

While the company didn’t go into details, the answer probably lies in falling revenue, down 9.8% year over year for the quarter, and rising expenses. Revenue was down by more than $350 million year over year, while expenses rose by around $60 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $3.82 billion, and Dish delivered $3.7 billion.

Operating cash flow fell by 19.7% year over year. Dish listed “other long-term obligations” of $14.13 billion, all but about $5 billion to be spent by 2027, and most of that spending on deploying the company’s 5G network.

Subscription losses

Year over year, pay TV subscriber numbers dropped by 11.8% in the third quarter to 8.84 million, 6.7 million to the Dish satellite service, and 2.1 million to Dish’s Sling streaming service. While ‌losses in satellite subscribers were nominally larger, losses in streaming subscribers were higher on a percentage basis.

Net pay TV losses for the quarter were 64,000. Satellite net losses totaled 181,000, and streaming additions totaled 117,000. Compared to the third quarter of last year, satellite losses came in 1.6% better, while streaming additions fell by 45.3%.

Dish is focused on becoming a wireless mobile provider and may have forgotten where its current fortunes lie. The company pays no dividend, and Dish stock is down about 60% over the past 12 months.

CEO departs, EchoStar merger news, and asset sales

Dish Network also announced Monday morning that it has agreed to sell 120,000 subscribers and its spectrum assets in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to Liberty Latin America Ltd. (NASDAQ: LILA) for $256 million. The sale is expected to close next year.

President and CEO Erik Carlson has resigned from his executive positions effective November 12. Carlson will remain on the board until the merger with Dish Network is completed. Current EchoStar president and CEO Hamid Akhaven will become Dish’s CEO and president on November 13. Akhaven was slated to become CEO of the company following a merger with EchoStar Corp. (NASDAQ: SATS) announced in early August.

The merger between two companies controlled by Dish’s board chair, Charlie Ergen, is expected to be concluded by the end of the year. Ergen beneficially owns 90.3% of the voting power in Dish and 93.4% of the voting power in EchoStar.

Ergen’s goal is to create a wireless service provider to compete with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). It could work out, but investors have been skeptical. Dish stock is down more than 47% since the merger was announced.

Shortly after Monday’s opening bell, Dish Network stock traded down almost 22% at around $$4.42 in a 52-week range of $4.39 to $17.49. The low was posted this morning.

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