This Week in Sirius XM Radio

This Week in Sirius XM Radio

Things never get dull for the country's lone satellite-radio provider.

Shares of Sirius XM Radio inched slightly higher this past week, rising 0.8% to close at $3.95. The media darling's climb judged edged out Nasdaq's slight 0.7% gain on the week, but the S&P 500 and the Dow 30 did move lower.

There was more going on beyond the share price gyrations.

Sirius XM once again failed to break through the $4 ceiling as it presented at the Deutsche Bank Leveraged Finance Conference. Pandora reported its metrics for the month of September, showing that it's still growing since the arrival of Apple's iTunes Radio.

Let's take a closer look.

Keep on moving
Sirius XM traded as high as $3.99 this week, revisiting the six-year highs it recently established.

CFO David Frear presented at the Deutsche Bank Leveraged Finance Conference on Tuesday afternoon, offering up some interesting data points.

The media giant has said in the past there are now more than 50 million cars on the road with Sirius or XM receivers. A little more than half of them are active subscribers. Frear points out that he expects 150 million cars on the road in 10 years to have factory-installed receivers. It may not be fair to assume that half of them will be subscribers -- opening the door to a tantalizing 75 million premium-radio users for Sirius XM -- but the tally should continue to grow as its opportunities expand. Who knows if Sirius XM doesn't wind up converting more than half the inactive receivers out there a decade from now?

Frear also tackled the perpetually debunked myth that the connected car and mobile will disrupt the company, pointing out 140 million smartphones have hit the country over the past four years and that it hasn't experienced a dip in demand.

Pandora lives to stream another month
Everyone was waiting for Pandora to push out its monthly metrics for the month of September. Apple's iTunes Music rolled out a few weeks into the month when it introduced its iOS 7 update. Apple revealed that 11 million people checked out iTunes Radio during its debut week, and it was natural to wonder if Pandora would take a hit.

Sequentially speaking, Pandora held up well -- but it's still an incomplete grade. Listener hours inched up marginally from 1.35 billion hours to 1.36 billion hours and 72.7 million active users in September is a new record. But none of this provides a clear snapshot on how things went after the iTunes Radio rollout. The active listeners could have been streaming earlier in the month before Apple was streaming. We also don't know if there was a sequential slide during the latter half of the month.

We'll have a much better picture a month from now when Pandora puts out its October metrics.

Sirius future
It was an interesting week for Sirius XM. The new week isn't likely to be dull.

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Originally published