Approve a Massive Stock Dilution? Surely, You Can't Be Serious…I Am Sirius, and Stop Calling Me Shirley.
David Faber: The stock price is very low.
Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin: It sucks.”
At Sirius XM’s (SIRI) annual meeting Thursday, shareholders approved a reverse stock split plan that empowers the board to split common Sirius shares by a 1-for-10 to 1-for-50 ratio by end of 2009. They also approved the issuance of up to 3.5 billion new shares. Should Sirius need to, it can now effect a reverse split that will raise its stock price above the $1 necessary to avoid delisting and sell new shares to meet the almost $1 billion in loan repayments it faces next year.
Sounds like a reasonable plan on the face of things. Trouble is Sirius is trading at around $.14. And at that anemic price, proceeds from a sale of 3.5 billion new shares would amount to just $490 million–less than half the amount of the debt coming due next year. Sirius clearly hopes it won’t have to issue all 3.5 billion shares the vote approved. To do so would dilute existing holdings and drag its share price still deeper into the mud. It would, however, keep the company in business–in the short term. Sirius’s long-term viability is another problem entirely, one that’s not easily solved. With an almost $5 billion loss in its last quarter, subscriber growth plateauing, and the U.S. auto industry–a major source of new Sirius sales–in decline, the satellite radio provider really needs to do something to shore up its ailing business. And its plans to drive subscriber growth, outlined in the second slide below, may not be enough to do it.