Dish Network Receives a Buy from J.P. Morgan

By Carrie Williams

J.P. Morgan analyst Philip Cusick reiterated a Buy rating on Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) yesterday and set a price target of $85. The company’s shares opened today at $57.92.

Cusick observed:

“Dish reported better than expected subscriber results and revenue in 3Q, but EBITDA was softer due to higher SAC and sub-related expenses. Total subscriber losses were better than expected due to Sling TV strength (+200k net adds) which partially offset ~300-325k legacy DBS losses. DISH’s legacy video results were impacted by a combination of the stricter retention policy and the Tribune programming blackout which lasted most of the quarter. We increase our subscriber loss estimates for 4Q to 90k (comprised of -240k DBS losses and Sling TV gains of 150k) from 75k previously and also raise our Video ARPU estimate to $89.95 (following stronger than expected Video ARPU in 3Q). As a result of the above, we increase our 4Q total revenues to $3.795b (from $3.725b) and EBITDA to $774m on the above changes and higher satellite and transmission expenses. Once again the earnings conference call centered on Dish’s optionality, the evolution of media/distribution/wireless, and the burgeoning OTT landscape (particularly the upcoming DirecTV Now product).”

According to TipRanks.com, Cusick is a 4-star analyst with an average return of 6.6% and a 64.9% success rate. Cusick covers the Technology sector, focusing on stocks such as Telephone & Data Systems Inc. , United States Cellular, and Zayo Group Holdings.

Currently, the analyst consensus on Dish Network is Moderate Buy and the average price target is $82.20, representing a 41.9% upside.

In a report released today, Pivotal Research also reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a $86 price target.

The company has a one year high of $64.58 and a one year low of $38.85. Currently, Dish Network has an average volume of 2.35M.

Based on the recent corporate insider activity of 17 insiders, corporate insider sentiment is positive on the stock. This means that over the past quarter there has been an increase of insiders buying their shares of DISH in relation to earlier this year. Most recently, in December 2015, Charles Ergen, the Chairman of DISH bought 33,587,089 shares for a total of $3,128,400.

DISH Network Corp. is a holding company, which engages in the provision of direct broadcast satellite subscription television services. It operates through the Dish and Wireless segments. The Dish segment offers Pay-TV services under the DISH brand and the Sling brand. The Wireless segment acquires certain wireless spectrum licenses and related assets. The company was founded by Charles W. Ergen, Cantey W. Ergen and James DeFranco in 1980 and is headquartered in Englewood, CO.