This Week in Sirius XM Radio

Things never get dull for the country's lone satellite-radio provider. Shares of Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI  ) moved higher this past week, rising 4.4% to close at $4.05, and hit a six-year high along the way. The media darling's pop came on a strong week of recovery for the markets in general.

There was more going on beyond its share-price gyrations, though. Pandora (NYSE: P  ) also hit a new high after an analyst upgrade, and Sirius XM is making its biggest pitch yet for Latino listeners with a new show and subscription plan.

Let's take a closer look.

Keep on moving
Sirius XM traded as high as $4.06 on Friday, breaking through its earlier six-year high of $4. Technically, this isn't an all-time high, but it is in terms of market cap. The last time Sirius XM traded higher, it was with far fewer shares outstanding, since this was before the merger with XM and the 40% preferred share stake it awarded Liberty Media (NASDAQ: LMCA  ) four years ago. Liberty Media went on to increase its position to a majority stake after receiving regulatory clearance. 

So, yes, Sirius XM has never been this valuable.

Si mas
Sirius XM officially launched El Show de Piolin on Friday, starring Mexican terrestrial-radio personality Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo. A star-studded cast of guests including Enrique Iglesias and Ana Gabriel have already been confirmed to appear on the show.

Sirius XM has been beefing up its content geared toward the Latino market since the rollout of Sirius XM 2.0, but it's making an even bigger push now with a "SiriusXM Espanol" satellite package that will set subscriber back just $5.99 a month. It includes the Spanish-language content as well as a handful of the media giant's English-language music and talk content.

It remains to be seen whether Sirius XM moves to offer other low-priced plans with limited content like this. More than half of the 50 million cars out there with satellite receivers are dormant. The key is to see how many new subscribers it can get without getting existing listeners to trade down.

Pandora keeps rocking
It wasn't just Sirius XM hitting new highs on Friday. Pandora also set a new high-water mark.

Pandora kicked off the week with some Wall Street love. Cowen & Co. analyst John Blackledge boosted his target price on the stock from $23 to $29, encouraged by Pandora's prospects for lowering its programming costs while growing its ad revenue.

Pandora's CFO also made some interesting comments about the new competition posed by iTunes Radio. He sees it as a "credible threat" but still believes Pandora will continue to thrive in the market that it currently dominates.

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  • Report this Comment On October 21, 2013, at 3:09 PM, HurricaneJohnson wrote:

    I'm a long time XM subscriber. There is no doubt that catering to a Latino audience with additional programming is good business - especially as the Spanish-only speaking population increases.

    In the process, they removed 2 of 3 talk radio channels that had some conservative hosts. When I opened a case with their customer care group to get an explanation, they stated that these two channels were removed due to the inability of extending a deal with Clear Channel. I suspect there were other motivations involved....especially when I noticed that there are 3 Public Radio channels.

    Business is business, but I suspect removing popular talk show channels is showing SiriusXM's ideological bent.

  • Report this Comment On October 21, 2013, at 3:25 PM, Risky88 wrote:

    I WANT MY

    NIKKI SIXX BACK!!!!!!!!!!!

    CANCELLING XM RADIO THIS YEAR!

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