Sirius XM Hits a 58-Month High


Just like that, Sirius XM Radio is hitting new multiyear highs again.

Shares of the satellite radio provider traded as high as $3.04 yesterday, pushing the stock to its highest level since March 2008.

It may take some time before Sirius XM busts through the highs set 58 months ago. The stock traded as high as $3.89 that month. However, it's still impressive that Sirius XM is trading at fresh four-year highs after all of the drama surrounding the company these days.

  • Longtime CEO Mel Karmazin recently stepped down.

  • Liberty Media is still stuck at a 49.8% ownership stake in the company, so the buying that has helped push Sirius XM higher throughout the year as the media conglomerate went from a 40% stake to owning nearly half of the company is on hold.

  • Pandora continues to grow at a faster clip, and rumors continue to build that Apple is negotiating with the major labels to roll out a streaming service of its own. Sirius XM was expected to roll out a Pandora-like service during the second half of last year, but that failed to materialize.

  • The fiscal cliff was largely evaded, but the end of the payroll tax break will mean that the employed will take home hundreds less a year. Satellite radio may be a great deal, but it may also be a luxury for taxpayers looking to make up the reduction in disposable income.

Then again, these are also the same things that can reverse themselves and push Sirius XM higher. Karmazin isn't coming back, but the company made a smart choice on its interim CEO. It's just a matter of time before Liberty Media grabs the reins, and that will likely trigger a massive share buyback on Sirius XM's behalf. Once Apple shows its face in the streaming music crowd, Sirius XM will be able to respond accordingly. As for the end of the payroll tax cut, an improving economy should result in overdue pay raises that would more than make that up.

Yes, it's been nearly five years since Sirius XM traded this high, but things can still get even better.

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