Having been travelling all day, I was a bit surprised to see that Sirius XM Radio announced their annual meeting today. The meeting is scheduled for May 27th. From one perspective, I view this as a positive, because the issues that will be voted on in this meeting will have a chance to be addressed at the Q1 conference call that I anticipate will be announced in the first week of May.
Items of note from today's SEC filings are the voting of new Board members, addition of more authorized shares, and an extension of the reverse split from 12-31-09 to 6-30-10. When considering these issues, investors need to exercise some patience and understand that at a minimum, these issues will get some attention in the next couple of weeks from analysts.
NEW BOARD MEMBERS
At this point, Liberty is getting 3 out of the 6 possible seats that could be allotted to them. Of course, the matter is up for a vote, but the new board is virtually a foregone conclusion.
INCREASE AUTHORIZED SHARES FROM 8 BILLION TO 9 BILLION
While never popular with investors, dilution does have strategic impacts on the company. Yes, we all hate to see dilution happen, but with it sometimes can be better than the alternative. This measure will provide some breathing room for the company on debt issues that still exist. The Liberty investment in Sirius XM gave the company more time, but in the end, the debt still exists. The company needs to be able to have enough shares to garner some wiggle room. Should credit markets be slow to recover, there may be little choice. In my opinion it is better to have the authorized shares and not use them than to be caught in a situation where the company seeks emergency meetings to address such issues. Of course, the opinions on whether management can be trusted with these additional authorized shares is bound to come up, but in the end, the management team has been pretty stingy when it comes to dilution. As investors you simply need to ask yourselves how much you trust management. That being said, no matter what side of this issue you are on, you should be prepared for this measure to pass, as it is my opinion that it will.
This is another subject that investors are sensitive to. It is also an issue that needs to be on the table if the company wants to maintain their NASDAQ listing. On the way down, the equity spent little time in the current trading range. From a technical standpoint, Sirius XM could conceivably get to acceptable trading levels that would erase the need to conduct a reverse split. That being said, there is some wild trading that is bound to happen, and there is no guarantee that the company will surpass the $1 trading target in time. Again, I expect the measure to pass. Whether you are for or against it, I would strongly urge investors to act as if the measure will pass.
It does not take a rocket scientist or equity analyst to see that the economy is far from perfect these days. Individuals and companies alike need to be proactive in planning for several contingencies. Thankfully we have the Q1 conference call where the company is likely to speak about, and analysts are likely to inquire about these items.
Position - Long Sirius XM Radio