SiriusXM Earnings Look Good, But Look Deeper

quarterly resultsSiriusXM reported earnings today, and at first blush it would appear that the company met expectations, and is performing well enough to raise some guidance metrics for the balance of the year.  The company reported record revenue, saw net income increase 117%, had a record $381 million in adjusted EBITDA, has repurchased $2.1 billion in stock, and raised guidance on subscribers, revenue, and free cash flow.  With all of that, what is not to like?  Churn went up to 1.9% quarter over quarter, and conversion rate from trial subscriptions to self paying subscriptions dropped from 42% to 41%.  These two metrics alone are enough to give the great results we saw otherwise some pause.  In particular, the street seems to be thinking about connected cars, more consumer options, and  whether or not the uptick in churn and downtick in conversion are indicators that are hinting toward a shift in what consumers use for audio entertainment.

Now, let’s be clear.  The company is indeed producing good numbers.  The company is still showing growth.  The company is headed in the right direction.  What then is holding this equity back?  One thing that could be holding SiriusXM back is the fact that the majority of SiriusXM stock is held by Liberty Media.  Liberty essentially runs SiriusXM and while they certainly want the company to do well, there may be a side that wants good performance, but not great performance.  With each share bought back, Liberty’s stake in the company increases.  At some stage, Liberty may well make another move, but as investors found out the last time around, that move will not be at a huge premium.  This may frustrate some investors, but an investment in satellite radio may be much better under one roof than split up under partial ownership by a large player like Liberty.

Another thing that investors are looking at is the shift in metrics and how they are accounted for.  The comparisons that seem so good now will become harder in the quarters to come.  The fact of the matter is that while the 2014 guidance is good, the road to impressive gains will be getting more difficult.  Subscriber revenue seems to be reaching a plateau.  Ad revenue is seeming to plateau.  There may not be elasticity in price, and the auto sector may peak next year.  The segments for growth are evaporating and the competitive landscape is evolving as well.  In my opinion the best way to describe SiriusXM at the moment is “stable”.  Stay Tuned!

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SiriusXM Earnings Are On Tap

We are just a day away from SiriusXM announcing its Q3 earnings.  The company appears to have had a very good Q3 in that it raised subscriber guidance over a month ago.  Auto Sales in 2014 have been strong, and the company seems to have seen good traction in the used car segment as well…. → Read More

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SiriusXM Inks Deal With Maserati

SiriusXM announced today that buyers of Maserati cars will be able to receive 3 months of SiriusXM Satellite Radio included in the purchase of the car.  Buyers of  the Quattroporte or Ghibli vehicles will get advanced services which includes 4 years of traffic conditions, weather, fuel, scores, and movie listings. SiriusXM has been available in… → Read More

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SiriusXM To Report Q3 Results

File under….Thank God…. SiriusXM will announce its Q3 results on October 28, 2014 at 8:00 AM.  This news is welcomed because SiriusXM has been drifting downward for a couple of weeks now and perhaps the good quarter that the company will soon announce can be enough to apply the brakes on this slide.  SiriusXM already… → Read More

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Liberty Media Would Love To Own SiriusXM But Wont Chase It

This week the subject of Liberty Media buying out SiriusXM raised itself again when Greg Maffei stated, “Sirius holders wish they took the deal”, referring to a proposed deal at the beginning of 2014 that had Liberty effectively paying about $3.86 per share to get the half of the company it does not own.  Since… → Read More

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September Auto Sales Deliver 1.24 Million Vehicles

Auto sales in September came in at 1.24 million units.  This was up 9% from last year, but well below what we saw in August, which delivered 1.58 million in sales and a SAAR of 17.5 million.  The SAAR for September was 16.4 million.  Charts of the auto sales figures are available to SiriusBuzz Premium… → Read More

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SiriusXM To Appeal Turtles Lawsuit As Turtles Set Sights On Pandora

Fresh off of a legal victory in a lawsuit against SiriusXM, the Turtles are setting their sights on Pandora with the exact same claim.  Meanwhile SiriusXM has vowed to appeal the lawsuit.  SiriusXM’s CFO David Frear stated at an investor conference that the company would appeal, but the argument is not that artists should not… → Read More

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Court Decision Stings SiriusXM

A Federal judge has ruled in favor of the Turtles in a lawsuit about royalties that may mean that the Turtles and Sirius XM are not “Happy Together”.  In addition, the ruling may pave the way for royalty payments to many other artists who’s songs predate 1972.  The copyright laws in the United States deal… → Read More

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SiriusXM To Present At Conference

SiriusXM’s Jim Meyer, its Chief Executive Officer, is expected to speak at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2014 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference on Tuesday, September 16, at approximately 7:00 pm ET.  The timing of this bodes well for the company, as it will be a very public place to speak to increased subscriber… → Read More

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SiriusXM raises Subscriber Guidance

Last week, when auto sales were announced, I speculated that we might see the company raise subscriber guidance during the Q3 conference call.  As it turns out, SiriusXM did not want to wait.  The company has announced that it anticipates adding 1.45 million subscribers this year.  The new guidance is up from the previous level… → Read More