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Dish’s Charles Ergen Buys, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Sells

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According to a recent SEC filing, Dish Network’s (DISH) co-founder and chairman, Charles Ergen, spent $16 billion to purchase 500,005 DISH shares from August 5 to August 7. Ergen bought these shares in the latest transaction at an average price of $31.45. Notably, Ergen purchased these shares at a price close to the company’s current stock price. Dish shares closed at $32.39 on August 9. 

However, Amazon’s (AMZN) co-founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, headed in the opposite direction as he sold $1.8 billion in Amazon shares in the space of three days in late July. Although Bezos didn’t disclose the reason for this sale, he noted in 2018 that he was selling $1.0 billion of Amazon shares to bankroll his space company, Blue Origin.

Bezos sold his shares at an average price of $1,900. However, Amazon shares closed at $1,807.58 on Friday, as Amazon recently recorded one of its longest losing streaks.

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Bezos sells shares after mixed Q2 results

Bezos’s sale of Amazon shares came after the company reported mixed second-quarter results. Amazon’s second-quarter revenue increased year-over-year and beat consensus estimates. However, soaring costs resulted in Amazon’s second-quarter EPS falling short of the consensus estimate. 

Dish venturing into the wireless business

Dish’s second-quarter results also fell short of the consensus estimate. However, the company reported a marked improvement in customer retention in its core satellite television business. Dish lost only 31,000 pay-TV customers in the second quarter, which was far better than the 252,000 pay-TV customers Wall Street expected it would lose in the quarter. Additionally, Dish’s customer loss improved significantly from the second quarter of 2018 when it reported losing 196,000 pay-TV customers.

Ergen made a move in Dish stock after the company agreed to purchase $5 billion in assets from T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S) to jumpstart its wireless business. Dish is now on track to join Comcast and Charter Communications among the traditional pay-TV companies that have diversified into the wireless market. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Ergen has suggested he wants to invest more in Dish shares.

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