How Will The Cyber Attack Impact Dish’s Q1 Results?
Dish Network stock (NASDAQ: DISH) is poised to report its Q1 2023 results in early May, reporting on a quarter that saw the company face some disruptions to its operations on account of a cybersecurity attack. We expect Dish revenues to come in at about $4.1 billion for the quarter, a decline of about 5% versus last year and marginally ahead of the consensus estimates. We expect that earnings will stand at about $0.38 per share, ahead of the consensus estimates of about $0.36. So what are some of the key trends that are likely to drive Dish’s results for the quarter?
Dish’s satellite TV business has been facing a secular decline, due to cord-cutting. Over Q4 2022, the company lost a net of 268,000 pay-TV subscribers. Things could remain tough over Q1, as Dish faced a cybersecurity attack in late February, which impacted its internal communications, call centers as well as applications, and websites. The attack apparently disrupted the company’s customer onboarding, bill payments, and customer care operations for almost three weeks. This could potentially hurt the company’s subscriber onboarding and revenues to an extent. Dish’s wireless business – which presently comprises the Boost Mobile MVNO – lost about 24,000 subscribers in Q4 and it’s very likely that losses will be higher over Q1.
Dish stock has lost about half of its value this year, falling to about $7 per share due to the cyberattack and rising interest rates, which are seen as a negative for the highly leveraged company. However, we have a $14 price estimate for Dish that is well ahead of the current market price. While we will be revisiting our price estimate for the stock following earnings, we think that there is value in the stock at current levels. We think Dish’s valuation could be supported by its upside potential from its 5G wireless rollout as well as its massive spectrum holdings. The company holds around 150 MHz of sub-6 GHz frequency, compared to Verizon and AT&T which own around 290 MHz each, per UBS. Although regulations prevent existing wireless carriers from buying Dish’s spectrum assets before 2026, the spectrum is nevertheless very valuable. Dish also trades at roughly 6x consensus 2023 earnings, which makes the risk-to-reward trade-off for the stock more acceptable. See our analysis on Dish Network Valuation: Expensive Or Cheap for more details.
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