As was widely expected, car sales in the U.S. were down once again in December of 2008. For most car makers, the year was full of challenges, and the road to recovery has been long and tortured. Because satellite radio relies heavily on installations from auto manufacturers, bearishness on SDARS was rather easy.
At this point, from a news perspective, just about anything that could be perceived as a negative seems to be priced into the stock. This would include slumping auto sales. Even as Ford, GM, Toyota and others are in the process of announcing yet another drop in sales, the stock of Sirius XM Radio is actually up. This would seem to indicate that the continued slump in auto sales has already been boiled into satellite radio's stock price.
This is not to say that an auto sector turn around will deliver instantaneous upside in SDARS. There are other issues such as debt refinancing that still overhang the equity. However, a small confirmation that poor auto sales are not dragging the stock down any further gives long investors something to at least hang their hat on for the time being.
This week should bring a small amount of news, as the Consumer Electronics Show gets underway. The company, in the past, has typically announced bits of information relating to some metrics such as subscriber numbers, and perhaps a preliminary revenue number, etc. from the CES show. Whether this happens or not this year is anyone's guess. Likely the biggest determining factor is how positive the news is, and where the company is in the search for financing. After CES, the auto show circuit will be the next on the horizon where SDARS can gain additional exposure.
Position - Long Sirius XM