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Sirius Continues to Lose Money; Looks Ahead to Impact of Stern, NFL

Sirius Continues to Lose Money; Looks Ahead to Impact of Stern, NFL

Third-quarter financial numbers from Sirius: The company said it increased subscribers 38% and revenue 44% from the preceding quarter, and still expects to reach 1 million subscribers by the end of the year. But it continues to lose money and post losses for shareholders.
Sirius passed 700,000 subscribers shortly after the quarter ended, having added a net of about 182,000 in the quarter (207,000 additions and 25,000 deactivations, an average monthly churn of 1.5%). Competitor XM has 2.5 million subscribers and hopes for 3.1 million by year-end.
The company noted it will begin carrying Howard Stern one year from January, and that Ford has plans to include Sirius as a factory option in numerous models in 2006 and ’07 cars. It described “significant gains in the retail market, fueled by initial sales of its next-generation products, broader distribution and growing consumer awareness of Sirius’ premium programming, including the NFL.”
CEO Joe Clayton said, “Howard Stern’s move to Sirius promises to transform the satellite radio category.”
Revenue in Q3 was $19.1 million, compared to $4.3 million at this period a year ago. But the cost in programming and content alone was $18.9 million in the latest quarter.
Overall its adjusted loss from operations increased by $48.1 million to $125.7 million thanks to the cost of getting listeners and the expense of content. Its net loss applicable to stockholders was $169.4 million, up from $106.7 million at this time last year.
The company said it has a strong cash position, with $523.2 million available.