SATELLITE TODAY’s Company Profile
This week, we take a closer look at a company that is proving it can “Dish” it out as well as take a little competition in the direct broadcast satellite industry: EchoStar Communications.
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Company: EchoStar Communications [Nasdaq: DISH]
Headquarters Address: 5701 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, CO 80120
Sales: $4.8 billion in 2002 compared to $4 billion in 2001
ST Breakdown: EchoStar Communications, founded in 1980, and its subsidiaries deliver direct broadcast satellite (DBS) services to customers worldwide. The company is the second-largest DBS operator and the seventh-largest multichannel video provider in the United States. EchoStar operates through two business units: The DISH Network and EchoStar Technologies Corp. The DISH Network offers DBS to more than 7.1 million subscribers in the United States. EchoStar Technologies designs, develops, distributes and sells DBS set- top boxes, antennas and other digital equipment for the DISH Network and other international satellite service providers. EchoStar has spent much of 2003 focusing on life after its failed merger bid with rival DirecTV. The Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Justice Department blocked the merger because of fears that the combined company would have a monopoly position in the satellite television service business
Outlook: The biggest challenges going forward for EchoStar include: mounting competition from cable TV operators and satellite rivals, growing its net subscriber base and expanding into areas where cable modems and DSL broadband have been slow to capture the market while keeping costs down. Its positives include: the ability to grow its subscriber base in a weak economy, an improving return on invested capital and financial leverage as well as management’s discipline in managing costs and developing successful marketing strategies for its products.