Sirius XM Profits Up 54%


New York - Sirius XM Radio posted a 54 percent gain in third-quarter net profit to $104.2 million on a 6 percent revenue gain to $762.6 million, a company record for any single quarter.

The gains came despite a 0.3 percent decline in third-quarter net new subscriber additions to 333,683, compared with the year-ago period, because of falling new-car sales. For the nine-month period, the number of net new subscribers was up 6.4 percent to 1.16 million.

Also for the year-to-date, the company posted a 186 percent net-profit gain to $355.6 million, reflecting revenue growth combined with an 8 percent reduction in programming and content expenses so far this year, CEO Mel Karmazin said. Since the Sirius and XM merger in the summer of 2008, the company has reduced programming and content expense by 20 percent, he noted.

The year-to-date profit performance follows the company's first profitable year in 2010 since the 2008 merger between Sirius and XM.

The third-quarter subscriber base reached a record high of 21.4 million compared with the year-ago 19.9 million.

In revealing more details about its planned

Android-based Lynx tuner

with capacitive touchscreen, Karmazin said the device is designed not only for in-car and in-home satellite-radio 2.0 playback but also for use in the home to stream the Sirius XM Internet service via Wi-Fi for playback through a home audio system. That service will add on-demand music and talk programming early next year.

The Lynx can be played back in the home through a wired or stereo Bluetooth connection to a home audio system. The company didn't say whether the device, while in a vehicle, would be able to use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to control the company's Internet radio apps for smartphones.

The company also said the Lynx would be able to time-shift and store up to 200 hours of programming for later playback. Additional functions will be made available via software upgrades.

Sirius XM didn't specify a Lynx ship date, saying only that it expects the tuner will be available in retail channels before the year is out. Operations and sales president James Meyer said he doubted the Lynx "would have a significant impact" on the company's holiday season retail aftermarket sales.

Though net additions were essentially flat in the third quarter, Karmazin forecast a fourth-quarter net subscriber gain of 440,000, which would be up 34 percent from the year-ago quarter. The company continues to forecast full-year net adds of 1.6 million and full-year revenue growth of 6 percent to $3 billion.

The company hinted at faster revenue growth in 2012, with Karmazin noting that the price of a basic subscription rises on Jan. 1 from $12.95 to $14.49 per month.


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