Hughes Enrolls More Customers in First Quarter

Hughes Network Systems said it activated 46,700 new consumers for its satellite-centric broadband services in the first quarter, pushing its subscriber base to 401,000 as of March 31.

That represents a 16 percent jump when compared to Hughes' subscriber base at the close of first quarter 2007. Also, the company said consumer ARPU (average revenue per unit) increased to $65 in the first quarter.

First quarter revenues increased by 6 percent to $237.2 million when compared to the same quarter in 2007. Net income for the first quarter of 2008 was $700,000. That number reflects an $8.5 million accrual related to an estimated payout in April 2009 for a one-time employee retention plan established in connection with the 2005 purchase of HNS from The DIRECTV Group.

While the launch of services aboard its Spaceway 3 satellite didn't occur in the first quarter, Hughes boasted about activating its first HughesNet consumer utilizing the bird's capacity on April 3. The satellite was lofted into orbit last August.