DISH Network (DISH) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Thursday. They currently have $32.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “DISH’s efforts to diversify its business from being a pure-play satellite-TV operator to an Internet TV operator is expected to help it counter competitive threats from low-cost video streaming operators. Sling TV subscriber base is increasing, which is a positive for the company’s top-line growth. Moreover, DISH’s focus on acquiring and retaining subscribers that are profitable over the long term, is paying off. The company’s excellent customer service is improving retention. Further, DISH has ample wireless opportunities with its extensive portfolio of wireless spectrum, valued at around $40 billion. However, escalating programming and content expenses, retransmission fees and failure to strike any deal with wireless operators are major concerns. Shares have underperformed the industry in the past year.”

Several other analysts have also issued reports on the company. Pivotal Research cut their target price on DISH Network from $40.00 to $37.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. Guggenheim raised DISH Network from a neutral rating to a buy rating and upped their target price for the stock from $32.00 to $50.00 in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Citigroup cut their target price on DISH Network from $54.00 to $50.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, December 19th. Morgan Stanley cut their target price on DISH Network from $39.00 to $37.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, December 6th. Finally, SunTrust Banks cut their target price on DISH Network to $35.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, November 8th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. DISH Network currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $39.07.

Shares of NASDAQ DISH traded down $0.49 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $28.15. 2,272,600 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,656,188. DISH Network has a 12-month low of $23.22 and a 12-month high of $49.78. The company has a current ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 0.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.67. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.08 and a beta of 1.39.

DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 7th. The company reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.15. DISH Network had a return on equity of 20.26% and a net margin of 19.01%. The company had revenue of $3.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.57 earnings per share. DISH Network’s revenue was down 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that DISH Network will post 2.92 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, EVP James Defranco acquired 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 22nd. The stock was purchased at an average price of $34.96 per share, for a total transaction of $174,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 1,233,529 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $43,124,173.84. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders acquired 215,000 shares of company stock valued at $6,343,000 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 49.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. CenturyLink Investment Management Co lifted its position in DISH Network by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. CenturyLink Investment Management Co now owns 37,565 shares of the company’s stock valued at $938,000 after purchasing an additional 1,267 shares during the last quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd raised its holdings in shares of DISH Network by 15.0% during the third quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd now owns 11,685 shares of the company’s stock valued at $418,000 after acquiring an additional 1,520 shares in the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its holdings in shares of DISH Network by 4.0% during the fourth quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 46,146 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,151,000 after acquiring an additional 1,767 shares in the last quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of DISH Network by 3.8% during the second quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC now owns 50,689 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,704,000 after acquiring an additional 1,876 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Creative Planning raised its holdings in shares of DISH Network by 1.6% during the third quarter. Creative Planning now owns 128,814 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,606,000 after acquiring an additional 2,083 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 48.61% of the company’s stock.

DISH Network Company Profile

DISH Network Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides pay-TV services in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Pay-TV and Wireless. It offers video services under the DISH TV brand; and programming packages that include programming through national broadcast networks, local broadcast networks, and national and regional cable networks, as well as regional and specialty sports channels, premium movie channels, and Latino and international programming packages.

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