A Loss for Sirius

Published on February 15, 2011
by John Paczkowski

sirius-150x150So much for that new 52-week high Sirius XM Radio hit on the eve of its fourth-quarter earnings Monday. Shares of the satellite-radio operator slid nearly 8 percent this morning, after it posted an unexpected loss.

Analysts had been calling for Sirius to break even in its fourth quarter on revenue of $740 million. Instead it reported a loss of $81.4 million, or two cents a share, on revenue of $735.9 million. The reason for the miss: An increase in operating expenses and $85.4 million in debt-extinguishment losses.

Unfortunate. Still, the company’s latest financials weren’t without some good news. Sirius added 328,789 new subscribers in the fourth quarter, up from 257,028 in the fourth quarter of 2009. And it ended 2010 with 20.2 million subscribers, 8 percent more than the 18.8 million it claimed at the end of 2009, and well above its target of 20.1 million.

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