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Dish Network earnings down 33 percent

NEW YORK (AP) -- Satellite TV broadcaster Dish Network Corp. said Wednesday that its net income dropped by a third in the fourth quarter, as it kept prices steady.

The satellite television provider earned $209.1 million, or 46 cents per share, for the period ended Dec. 31. That compares with $312.7 million, or 70 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue slipped 1 percent to $3.59 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of 51 cents per share, and revenue of $3.57 billion.

The Englewood, Colo., company added 14,000 TV subscribers in the quarter, compared with a gain of 22,000 in the same quarter last year. It ended the year with 14.1 million subscribers. DirecTV has 20 million.

Dish's subscriber figures have been essentially flat for the last five years, as the rapid growth of satellite TV viewing has dissipated. It's trying to branch into wireless services, but isn't close to launching that yet.

Dish began selling a faster satellite Internet service in September, resulting in a net 44,000 new broadband subscribers. It's using satellites from ViaSat and Hughes for the service. They also resell their services under other brands.

For the year Dish Network Corp. earned $636.7 million, or $1.41 per share. In 2011 the company made $1.52 billion or $3.39 per share. Annual revenue edged up to $14.27 billion from $14.05 billion.

Dish shares rose 24 cents to $36.33 in afternoon trading after rising as high as $36.56 earlier in the session. The shares hit a five-year high of $38.14 a week ago.