This Week in Sirius XM Radio
Things never get dull for the country’s lone satellite radio provider. Shares of Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI ) moved lower on the week, shedding 2% of its value to close at $3.64. The media darling’s slide wasn’t as bad as Nasdaq’s 0.3% decline on the week.
There was more going on beyond the share price gyrations, though. Sirius XM announced that AT&T (NYSE: T ) would be the wireless carrier providing connectivity for its telematics offering in Nissan (NASDAQOTH: NSANY ) vehicles. In a timely programming note, Sirius XM expanded its Pink Floyd music block. Despite the lower close, shares of the satellite-radio provider did hit a new five-year high on Monday. And finally, Sirius XM also scheduled its second-quarter earnings call for this coming Thursday.
Let’s take a closer look.
Making room for Ma Bell
It’s been 10 months since Sirius XM announced plans to offer premium telematics in Nissan cars. We hadn’t heard a whole lot on that front, but this week Sirius XM and Nissan revealed that AT&T will be the carrier providing the mobile connections to make it happen.
Sirius XM couldn’t do it alone, and teaming up with AT&T allows it to combine the strengths of cellular and satellite in creating a new revenue stream. We still don’t have details on availability, pricing, or even the full set of features. However, it’s worth noting that the top dog in telematics, OnStar, starts at $18.95 a month for its basic plan, and that’s going up to $19.95 in three months.
Obviously there are too many unknowns here, but this becomes a great way for Sirius XM to expand on its average revenue per user as long as the market isn’t flooded with free telematics in the coming years.
Pink Floyd is engaged in a war or words with Pandora (NYSE: P ) , making it all the more timely that Sirius XM moved to make Pink Floyd a bigger part of its existing Deep Tracks channel.
Sirius XM hosts the Pink Floyd Channel on its Internet radio offering, but now the legendary rock band will take over the Deep Tracks airwaves for a six-hour block on Sunday nights and hourly blocks every weekday at midnight.
Pink Floyd is accusing Pandora of tricking artists into backing a new structure that would slash artist royalties by 85%. Pandora fired back, disputing the 85% figure. This isn’t the reason Pink Floyd is getting more airtime on Sirius XM, but the publicity should work in the satellite radio titan’s favor.
Once again, Sirius XM traded at its highest level since March 2008, when it fetched as much as $3.89. The company has hit fresh five-year highs several times in recent months, leaving the large number of shorts smarting.
The stock did close well off the highs set earlier in the week, and it’s a fair bet that Sirius XM’s upcoming report on Thursday will dictate whether we hit yet another new high mark.
Earn, baby, earn
Sirius XM’s second-quarter financials will be released on Thursday morning, followed by a conference call that will once again be available online, by phone, or on satellite radio.
Analysts see a profit of $0.02 a share, in line with what it earned in the two previous quarters. Revenue is pegged to move 12% higher to $934.4 million.
Sirius XM already preannounced that it closed out the period with 715,000 net new subscribers, boosting its subscriber target up to 1.5 million net additions for the entire year. We’ll see if it tweaks any of its other projections on Thursday.
A Sirius future
It was an interesting week for Sirius XM. The new week isn’t likely to be dull.
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