With automobile sales hitting record lows, satellite radio sector watchers have more than just the merger to worry about. Satellite radios installed into cars is where SDARS gets the most exposure. Consumers have been pretty consistent on opting to become subscribers at about a 50% clip, but prolonged weakness in the OEM channel is now offsetting the higher installation rate. Less exposure translates to fewer subscribers.
The merger is still the big news in the sector, but weak subscriber numbers is an undertone that has many trying to figure out what to establish as a value for these stocks in both the near as well as the longer term.
We will soon publish the June auto sales data as we do each month, but the news is already on the street. Cars are not selling, and that represents yet another question mark on satellite radio equities.
Position - Long Sirius, Long XM