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SiriusXM surges 5% on solid numbers

Pay-radio operator SiriusXM enjoyed a 5 per cent boost to its share price following impressive Q2 results, and helped by a net gain of 587,000 subscribers, or typically 6000 a day.

SiriusXM now has more than 30.6 million subs, and Q2 revenues up 10 per cent to $1.2 billion (€1bn), a record. Net income was up y-o-y from $103 million to $173 million. Free cashflow grew 6 per cent to $395 million.

John Malone’s Liberty Media controls SiriusXM with about 65 per cent of the stock.

Guidance for the rest of this year has grown to expect 1.6 million (up from 1.4 million) net self-pay subs, and a total of 1.7 net new subs overall.

CEO Jim Meyer admitted to analysts that the broadcaster couldn’t expect to grow at this rate for ever, but he expected SiruusXM radios to be installed in about 73 per cent of new cars in the US this year, and that over time its receivers would be in about 180 million vehicles as cars trickled down into the second-hand market.

He also said that its SiriusXM-17 project, a new transmission platform now dubbed 360-L for 360-degree listening “lets us offer non-linear content to our subscribers, such as customized music playlists, on demand content and personalized recommendations based on the tastes of our individual subscribers.” Meyer said it now had test vehicles on the road, and more information would emerge during the year.

“360-L also means much tighter integration with our apps and other means of assessing our service outside of the car,” Meyer added. “Preferences will follow our subscribers seamlessly as they move between the car and other listening locations like mobile and the home. We are well along implementing a plan to use technology to improve every aspect of our business and all the processes we use to touch our subscribers and potential subscribers.”

David Frear, CFO, said that the broadcaster would be replacing two satellites shortly (XM3 and XM4) and the new craft would be launched in 2019 and 2020.  He added that its Canadian off-shoot company would hopefully be permitted to join its US-based business under a Plan of Amalgamation, and that Canadian regulators were looking at the scheme.

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