The price for consumers will go up 50 cents to $14.99 a month, CEO Jim Meyer told analysts this morning in a conference call to discuss Q3 earnings. Although this was a “difficult decision,” he says, SiriusXM‘s satellite radio customers see value in the service and the rate hike “will not significantly impact retention next year.” The disclosure followed the release of Q3 earnings results that sent the company’s stock down 2.8% in pre-market trading. SiriusXM generated $62.9M in net income, down 15.6% vs the period last year, on revenues of $961.5M, +10.9%. Analysts expected revenues to come in higher, at $969.7M. Earnings at 1 cent a share also were short of the 2 cents the Street anticipated. The company ended up with 25.58M subscribers, up 513,078 from June. Execs say the satellite service is still flying. They raised their forecast for net subscriber additions this year to 1.6M from 1.5M, and revenue estimates to $3.77B from $3.7B. They also predict 2014 revenues to hit $4B. Meyer says he’s optimistic due to “continued growth in new automobile sales and an increasing number of existing self-pay subscribers selling their cars and rotating back into our trial funnel.”
NEW YORK, Aug. 15, 2013 — Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the connected vehicle services business of Agero, Inc. for $530 million in cash.
The connected vehicle unit of Agero is the leading provider of innovative telematics services, offering safety, security and convenience services for drivers and end-to-end, turnkey solutions for automakers. Following the acquisition, SiriusXM will provide connected vehicle services to more automotive manufacturers — including Acura, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Lexus, Nissan and Toyota — than any other telematics provider.
NEW YORK—July 30, 2013 – Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) announced today it will be the exclusive home to legendary radio personality Art Bell, marking the return of the trailblazing late night host to radio with a new, expanded live, nightly call-in show on which he will explore the paranormal, unexplained and more with expert guests and listeners nationwide.
It’s natural to wonder whether Liberty Media Chairman John Malone’s new acquisition of 27.3% of Charter Communications is merely Step One in a plan to make him a U.S. cable titan — the role he played until 1999 when he sold Tele-Communications Inc to AT&T. And while Liberty CEO Greg Maffei doesn’t predict that, he also didn’t rule it out today in a quarterly earnings call with analysts. He says that cable “could be in for a round of consolidation” at a time when it’s so inexpensive to borrow money and large companies covet opportunities to cut costs — for example by negotiating lower prices from programmers. He cryptically adds that even though Charter can do just fine as a stand-alone entity, “we’ll see” whether it ends up being “a consolidator or condolidatee.” Liberty’s stock purchase agreement gives it the right over time to raise its stake to 40%. Will it do so? “We’ll see what time holds,” Maffei says.
The New York Supreme Court today handed America’s Got Talent judge Howard Stern a further defeat in his multimillion-dollar suit against Sirius XM. “We agree with the motion court that plaintiffs are not entitled to additional performance-based compensation under the unambiguous agreement between plaintiffs and defendant’s predecessor, Sirius Satellite Radio Inc,” the First Appellate Division wrote today. Justices Rosalyn H. Richter, Angela M. Mazzarelli, Luis A. Gonzalez, Dianne T. Renwick and Judith J. Gische represented the appeals court panel. In a suit filed in March 2011, Stern’s company One Twelve and his agent Don Buchwald claimed that they were owed more than $300 million after Sirius exceeded subscriber targets following its merger with rival XM in 2008. Stern actually did get a $25 million bonus from the company as a result of the merger but he claimed he was expecting more. Judge Barbara Kapnick of the New York State Supreme Court tossed the suit last year on April 17. “Looking solely to the plain language used by the parties within the four corners of the agreement the disputed term “Sirius subscribers,” by which plaintiffs’ performance-based compensation was measured, did not include subscribers to XM Radio, a wholly owned subsidiary which defendant acquired by merger, even though the merger had been anticipated within the agreement,” added the judges today.
Liberty Media Chairman John Malone just consolidated his power at the satellite radio company as four people friendly to his outlook joined the Sirius XM board replacing former CEO Mel Karmazin — who left last month …
UPDATE, 6:56 AM: As interim CEO, Jim Meyer will collect a base salary of $1.3M per year, plus annual bonuses to be determined by the board, in a new contract that runs until October 31, 2013, …
The stock is up more than 2% in early trading with investors more surprised at the timing of the announcement than by the decision itself. The satellite radio company says it will repurchase $2B in stock, with no timetable. Liberty Media, which owns 49.8% of Sirius XM, will participate in a way that ensures the effort doesn’t boost or dilute its stake. In addition, on December 28 Sirius XM will pay a 5 cent-a-share special dividend — about $325M — to those who own the stock on December 18. The general feeling was that Sirius XM would return cash to shareholders soon, but not yet: It’s still negotiating to determine the royalty rates it will have to pay for the music it airs, and looking at candidates to replace CEO Mel Karmazin when he leaves in February. The FCC could formally rule by year end that Liberty owns Sirius XM and its satellite licenses. But a lot of companies, including Disney and Dish Network, are announcing dividends ahead of the end of the year: If lawmakers can’t avoid the so-called fiscal cliff tax and budget measures that take effect in January, then dividends will be taxed at a much higher rate.
Deadline’s Executive Editor David Lieberman talks with host David Bloom in Episode 2 of Deadline Big Media. Lieberman discusses whether Mel Karmazin will stay with satellite broadcaster Sirius XM after Liberty Media completes its acquisition; what impact James Murdoch might have on News Corp’s U.S. TV operations if he takes over, as rumored; and who might be interested in spending up to $7 billion to buy the live-entertainment and sports powerhouse AEG from Denver billionaire Phil Anschutz.