If you think there's nothing good on TV, you just haven't channel-surfed far enough. The same goes for investing. Each week, I bash a stock, pointing out the reasons why I think it's going nowhere. However, I also single out three stocks that I think will be better replacements in your portfolio.
Who gets tossed out this week? Come on down, DISH Network
It's a dog DISH
Couch-potato enablers are typically resilient through recessions, since home-based entertainment becomes more valuable when money's tight. As the cheaper of the two major satellite television services, this should also be DISH's moment to shine.
Reality hasn't been so kind.
DISH has been a loser, literally. After shedding 102,000 net subscribers last year, it has lost another 68,000 net subscribers through the first six months of 2009; the 26,000 accounts it gained during the second quarter weren't enough to offset the 94,000 it shook off during the first quarter.
This is a sharp contrast to rival DirecTV
DISH is still quite profitable, earning $1.98 a share last year. Analysts predict that net income will dip to $1.85 a share this year. Wall Street sees DISH bouncing back in 2010, but I don't.
DISH may be the value-priced satellite television service, but that only makes it more susceptible to the cutthroat telecoms diving into this space. AT&T's
Furthermore, let's not forget DISH's perpetual courtroom losses to TiVo
DISH may appear attractive at just 10 times this year’s projected earnings, but the future is full of too many market-share challenger and legal fisticuffs to generate much excitement.
Switch to these channels
Now that I've singled out a stock for dumping, let's review its three prospective replacements:
With 18.3 million stateside users -- and 24.2 million accounts worldwide -- the premium satellite television provider is widening the gap between itself and DISH's 13.6 million subscribers. DISH just can't compete with DirecTV's slate of offerings. Even DISH's NFL RedZone comes off as a poor man's Readers Digest version of DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket. The average DirecTV subscriber is paying $83.16 a month for the service, up from a monthly $81.80 average a year ago. Yes, even in a recession, DirecTV is able to grow its base -- and increase what its viewers are willing to pay for satellite television.
It's hard to bet against John Malone in timely satellite investments. Malone owns a sizable chunk of DirecTV through Liberty Entertainment. But Malone's Liberty Capital arm scored this year's biggest coup, landing a 40% stake in Sirius XM Radio
As DISH shrinks, movie maven Netflix has also grown in popularity. It offers subscribers on its unlimited plan the ability to stream more than 12,000 titles through an ever-expanding variety of Web-tethered devices. The economical service may make it easier for cable and satellite subscribers to do without their costlier subscriptions.
Sorry, DISH. I know you can DISH it out, but I don't necessarily have to take it.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz always takes out the garbage. He does own shares in Netflix and TiVo. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.