DISH Network (Nasdaq: DISH) grew its revenue in its latest quarter. It also tacked on more net satellite television subscribers than larger rival DIRECTV (Nasdaq: DTV). However, while DIRECTV managed to grow its earnings during the same three-month period, DISH's profitability took a swift jab to the chops.

The key to DISH's healthy subscriber count is explained by the surge in its marketing and installation costs per new subscriber. In other words, DISH has been aggressively courting couch potatoes through price breaks and installation deals.

Maybe it's just me, but I prefer DIRECTV and Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) when it comes to subscriber-based satellite services. Both companies delivered solid earnings improvement in their latest quarters, and they got there by keeping subscriber acquisition costs in check.

This doesn't mean that I'm necessarily down on DISH, since landing more accounts than cancellations is a welcome contrast to what's happening at many leading cable providers lately. However, it's important to consider all angles and not simply be wowed by a growing top line and a larger user base.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • According to NPD Research, smartphones running on Google's (Nasdaq: DISH) Android platform outsold Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhones during this year's first quarter. It makes sense. Google may be having distribution hiccups with its own Nexus One, but third-party manufacturers of Android phones are doing well throughout all of the major carriers. Domestic Apple coverage -- for now -- is limited to AT&T (NYSE: T).
  • McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) earned its "I'm lovin' it" tag line, posting a 4.9% gain in global comps for the month of April. With the exception of a brief slip back in January, Mickey D's has managed to grow its unit-level popularity through the recession, and now it's clearly holding up well during the recovery. You want some fries with that?

Until next week, I remain,
Rick Munarriz

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He 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.