With the news that Sirius XM had regained NASDAQ listing compliance, and the fact that the company is trading above $1.00, many investors have now shifted focus to the upcoming Russell Index re-balancing, and for good reason. When the re-balancing happens, there will be a demand created for shares of Sirius XM. last year when Sirius XM was removed from the Russell, the sale of the stock created an oversupply of shares, and the stock price went down accordingly. The hope for many investors is that if Sirius XM gets added to the index, a rise in share price will follow.

More often than not, we don’t have to watch pennies when considering what equities will be a part of the Russell, or which ones will be removed. However, this is Sirius XM, so a little drama is par for the course. The common question is whether Sirius XM simply needs to be at a dollar on the last day of May, or whether it needs to average above a dollar for the whole month. Given the current stock price (hovering around $1.00) , the concern is more highlighted than ever.

The Rule In Layman’s Terms:

First off, Sirius XM qualifies on all categories except the share price, which is yet to be determined. Knowing that, we can look at simply what the rule is with regard to the share price. Simply stated, SIRIUS XM NEEDS TO CLOSE ABOVE $1.00 ON THE LAST DAY OF THE MONTH. This differs from the NASDAQ listing requirement which uses the BID price at the close. The average price for the month only comes into play for equities that are being considered for removal from the Russell Indexes. This was the situation for Sirius XM last year, but as they are now trying to re-enter, the stock price simply needs to close above $1.00 on the last day of the month.

What Will The Impact Be, And When Will It Happen

The first part of the good news here is that there is virtually little downside. If Sirius XM does not qualify, things will be just as they already are. No forced sell-off will happen. Sure, investors will be disappointed, but the reality is that funds will not be forced to sell the equity.

The second part of the good news is that if Sirius XM does qualify, many funds that deal with the Russell Indexes, or mirror them, will have to take a position in Sirius XM Radio. This will create buying pressure. The key is knowing when that will happen, and being prepared as far in advance as possible.

Key Dates

Would you consider it an advantage to know an equity is going to be added and that at a future date buying pressure will occur? Certainly. The first key date is the final trading day in May. That happens to be Monday, May 31stFriday, May 28th (May 31, 2010 is a holiday). If Sirius XM closes above $1.00, they will be added to the Russell Indexes. You will now have the advantage of knowing that buying pressure will start. It could start earlier if the stock is comfortably above $1.00, so it behooves you to pay attention over the next few weeks. Bear in mind, this early buying pressure is not the re-balancing itself. That happens at a later date. Between qualification and re-balancing, speculators are taking advantage of the knowledge that there will be substantial buying when the Russell Re-balance date happens.

Reconstitution Schedule

June 11 – Preliminary additions and deletions to the Russell Global Index, Russell 3000® and Russell Microcap® published after 3:00 p.m. PST

June 18 – Updates to the list of additions and deletions

June 25 – Updates to the list of additions and deletions. Reconstitution final after the close of the U.S. markets

June 28 – Final membership lists posted for the Russell Global, Russell 3000, Russell 1000®, Russell 2000®, Russell Midcap® and Russell Microcap Indexes

As you can see, June 25th is the magic date. Keep yourself informed through the end of May, and throughout June, and bear in mind that there are other equities that will be involved in this as well. Some good research could be worth your while.

Position – Long Sirius XM Radio