This Week in Sirius XM Radio
Things never get dull for the country's lone satellite-radio provider. Shares of Sirius XM Radio moved higher on the week, climbing 3.3% to close at $3.76. The media darling's pop was far better than the Nasdaq's 0.7% ascent on the week.
There was more going on beyond the share-price gyrations, though. Sirius XM announced well-received second-quarter results. A terrestrial-radio rival beefed up its streaming app with spoken content. Finally, the Nasdaq released its short interest for mid-July, and the volume of naysayers willing to bet real money against Sirius XM is shrinking.
Let's take a closer look.
It was another strong quarter for Sirius XM. Revenue climbed 12% to $940.1 million during the three months, fueled by a 9% boost in subscribers. Wall Street was holding out for only $934.4 million on the top line. Earnings matched the $0.02 a share that analysts were targeting.
We knew Sirius XM had a strong quarter on the subscriber acquisition front. It had pre-announced strong net new additions two weeks ago. The company boosted its subscriber goal for all of 2013 to 1.5 million at the time, and this week it increased its adjusted EBITDA target.
It would have been great to see Sirius XM also increase its revenue guidance, given the strong subscriber additions and better-than-expected top-line showing, but the market still ate up the report. Shares inched higher on the news, hitting a five-year high of $3.81 toward the end of the week.
Clear Channel's iHeartRadio app has been a sleeper hit in the streaming realm over the past couple of years, but it may become an awakening giant.
Clear Channel announced that its popular smartphone app that offers streaming access to hundreds of FM and AM radio stations will be beefing up its talk content. From streaming access to radio talk icons to introducing a platform that empowers individual podcast products, iHeartRadio may be about to get more popular for more than just its streams of real world terrestrial radio stations.
Sirius XM has been able to overcome streaming threats before, but this is still a development to keep an eye on in the coming quarters.
There were just 325.6 million shares of Sirius XM sold short as of mid-July. That may seem like a high number -- and it is, in the sense that no other Nasdaq-listed company has a higher short position -- but this is the lowest number of bearish wagers placed on the media giant all year.
In fact, you have to go all the way back to mid-November of last year to find a smaller short position.
A Sirius future
It was an interesting week for Sirius XM. The new week isn't likely to be dull.
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