Sirius Tunes In Subscriber Gains

Published on July 7, 2010
by John Paczkowski

Just about this time a year ago, Sirius XM Radio was up a certain creek with nary a paddle in sight. Its shares were trading at around 35 cents, it was hemorrhaging money, and anemic car sales had just led it to post its first-ever decline in net subscriber additions. The company ended its June 2009 quarter with 18.6 million subscribers–up 3.5 percent from a year earlier but down 404,000 subscribers from the preceding quarter. And though it added 1,338,961 new customers, Sirius lost 1,743,383.

Which makes the satellite-radio operator’s announcement of a nice spike in subscribership today all the more sweet.

Sirius (SIRI) said this morning that it added 583,000 net subscribers in the second quarter, bringing total subscribership to 19,524,448–a new record. And with that as a backdrop, the company raised its forecast for net subscriber additions for the third time, boosting this year’s projected growth to 1.1 million subscribers from 750,000.

“Our subscriber results mark the best quarter of gross additions, deactivations and net additions since the merger of Sirius and XM in July 2008,” CEO Mel Karmazin said in a statement. “The strong execution in both adding subscribers and retaining them resulted in our record-high 19.5 million subscriber milestone, despite continued economic uncertainty. The further improvement in our guidance reflects the attractiveness of satellite radio but maintains a cautious outlook for continued improvement in the economy.”

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