Markets & Finance

Ladenburg Is Wary on Hughes Electronics

Ladenburg says Hughes Electronics' (GMH ) warning of a downturn in net subscriber estimates seems company-related.

Analyst John Stone says Hughes really fell out of bed in terms

of net subscribers for DirectTV. Stone was looking for 280,000 net subscribers for Q2, and the company is now guiding to 175,000. While one can complain about the bad economy, competitor EchoStar Communications is continuing to add customers considerably faster than Hughes. Stone notes that new offerings from larger cable companies (i.e. digital) are creating a more competitive environment, although in

areas where smaller cable companies are the operator, direct-broadcasting service (DBS) companies are still winning. Bottom-line, Stone thinks the majority of Hughes's shortfall indicates the problems are company-specific, not DBS industry-wide.

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