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EchoStar Resolves Accounting Issues With SEC

By | March 26, 2004

      EchoStar Communications [DISH] resolved its accounting issues with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), company officials announced Friday.

      The matter was cleared up when EchoStar agreed to reverse an accrual of $30 million in expenses for 2002, on a pretax basis, relating to the replacement of security cards in leased set-top boxes. The company did not need to re-audit its 2001 results, and it was able to file its 2003 10-K financial report within the 15-day extension that it had requested and received from the SEC.

      Further good news was that EchoStar’s fourth-quarter 2003 revenues rose to $1.51 billion, up from $1.32 billion during the same quarter last year. Net income for fourth-quarter 2003 also rose to hit $3 million, compared to a net loss of $716 million during the corresponding period in 2002. However, one-time items during each period blur the value of that comparison. For example, EchoStar’s net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2003, included the effects of $51 million in charges associated with bond redemptions. Net income for that quarter also included a $56 million cost reduction due to a change in estimated royalty obligations. Net loss for the same period in 2002 included $690 million in charges from EchoStar’s terminated merger with Hughes Electronics.

      For a more in-depth look into EchoStar’s finances, see Monday’s issue of Satellite News. For more information about subscribing to PBI Media’s satellite newsletters, check out our Web site at

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