EchoStar's numbers look good


In a down economy, EchoStar Communications Corp. CEO Charlie Ergen showed
Thursday why he remains one of the richest men in America.

EchoStar reported first-quarter revenue of $1.04 billion, up 28 percent over
the $862 million the company reported in the first quarter of last year.

EchoStar also increased its pre-marketing cash flow 28 percent, to $450
million from $351 million.

The company's EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortization) totaled $178 million, up from $51 million last year.

EchoStar said the improvement in EBITDA (and other earnings) resulted from
the addition of new subscribers.

The math bears that out, as EchoStar added 335,000 new subscribers during the
first quarter. That brings its total to 7.16 million, a 25
percent increase from this time last year, mirroring almost exactly its
increase in revenue and cash flow.

EchoStar is also now showing positive operating income, reporting $95 million
this year as opposed to a $15 million loss in operating income last year.

EchoStar reported a $39 million loss for the quarter, and a $97 million loss
attributable to shareholders. Of that, $58 million in noncash accounting
charges is due to Vivendi Universal's $1.5 billion investment in EchoStar, the
company said.