This Week in Sirius XM

Things never get dull for the country's lone satellite-radio provider. Shares of Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI  ) moved lower this past week, sliding 4.7% to close at $3.68. The media darling's slide was far worse than the Nasdaq's 0.1% gain on the week.

There was more going on beyond the share-price gyrations, though. For one thing, Sirius XM also announced a few on-air talent deals. On the streaming front, Pandora (NYSE: P  ) posted quarterly results, Spotify raised some money, and Rdio confirmed some layoffs.

Let's take a closer look.

Keep on moving
Sirius XM went public with some new celebrities and radio personalities that will be joining its airwaves. Golf instructor Jim McLean as well as golf pros Henrik Stenson and Ian Poulter will join SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. However, away from the tee, the biggest deal may be for NBC News' Chuck Todd to host a new weekly show.

Unscripted With Chuck Todd will air on Saturday mornings with encore presentations throughout the week on Sirius XM's non-partisan P.O.T.U.S. channel. Todd, NBC's political director and chief White House correspondent, will speak to guests beyond the political arena to explore current issues and events.

The golfing deal is going to be sweet news to those hitting the links, but they were probably drawn to PGA Tour Radio anyway. Todd, meanwhile, is a well-known TV personality, and creating a new show should be magnetic to those who follow him on NBC.

Everyone's making waves
It was a case of feast or famine in the streaming world that serves as both a threat and an opportunity to Sirius XM's premium radio empire. The week began with reports that Rdio was laying off between a fifth to a third of its staff. Then came news that Spotify had raised $250 million in a round of financing that values the on-demand tunesmith at a cool $4 billion.

That may seem like small potatoes compared with Sirius XM at $22 billion, but it does come close to Pandora's current market cap of $5 billion.

Pandora's box
The streaming radio leader reported healthy growth in its latest quarter, and that was enough to get analysts at RBC Capital Markets and Canaccord Genuity to raise their price target on the stock to $35 this week. Not every Wall Street pro was convinced, as MKM Partners warned that growth will decelerate considerably from here. 

Pandora did see revenue soar 50% to $181.6 million, as advertising revenue far exceeded user growth and consumption. It did post another reported loss, though it was a profit of $0.06 a share on an adjusted basis. The company said the arrival of iTunes Radio hasn't wrestled away too many listeners, but thankfully Pandora gives us monthly metrics, so we'll be able to determine that before we're actually told that it is happening.

It was an interesting week for Sirius XM. The new week isn't likely to be dull.

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Related Tickers

4/22/2014 4:01 PM
P $29.39 Up +1.03 +3.63%
Pandora Media CAPS Rating: *
SIRI $3.22 Up +0.03 +0.94%
Sirius XM Radio CAPS Rating: **

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