Wall Street Watch this Week: A Showdown for Satellite Radio

Sirius XM Radio's (SIRI) Mel Karmazin
Sirius XM Radio's (SIRI) Mel Karmazin

When Liberty Media (LMCA) hosts its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, investors may do a double-take when they see Sirius XM Radio's (SIRI) Mel Karmazin (pictured) take the stage.

Didn't Liberty Media's CEO call Sirius XM's helmsman replaceable? Didn't Karmazin himself suggest that he may be too expensive for Liberty Media to keep around after his contract ends in December?

Those things may be true, but Liberty Media and Sirius XM realize that they need each other right now. Liberty Media has bumped its effective stake in the satellite radio monopoly to nearly 50%, and when it achieves majority control many believe that it will spin off the stake to its investors in a tax-advantaged transaction.

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This is important. Liberty Media needs stability in the value of Sirius XM shares -- which hit a four-year high last week -- to make sure that the operation goes off smoothly. Completing a spinoff without sending shares of Sirius XM tanking requires selling Liberty Media investors on the merits of Sirius XM.

Having its CEO speak at Liberty Media's meeting -- and ideally finding a way to keep him there come January and beyond -- is in the best interest of both companies.

Then again, all bets are off if Karmazin simply hurls a zinger at Liberty Media's executives, drops the microphone, and walks away.

Other Things Worth Watching

• The bond market is closed on Monday in observance of Columbus Day, but that doesn't mean that investors won't be firing up CNBC. All of the major stock exchanges will be open. It's business as usual, even when it's unusual.

• It will be quiet on the earnings front early in the week, but things will start heating up later on. Two of the bigger names reporting this week are JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC). Both of the "too big to fail" financial services giants are expected to post improving profitability when they report on Friday morning.

• Some of the other big names reporting earlier in the week will be Yum! Brands (YUM) (parent of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC) on Tuesday, warehouse club Costco (COST) on Wednesday, and grocery giant Safeway (SWY) on Thursday. All three companies are also expected to post stronger earnings than they did a year earlier.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article, except for Liberty Media. The Motley Fool owns shares of Wells Fargo, Costco Wholesale, and JPMorgan Chase. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Wells Fargo and Costco Wholesale.

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