What's Bad for Ford May Be Good for Sirius XM

Ford (NYSE: F  ) stock opened lower this morning after the leading automaker issued a disappointing business update. 

Normally, what's bad for Ford could be potentially worse for Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI  ) . The satellite radio provider relies on a healthy car market with factory-installed receivers to provide a healthy flow of new listeners. If cars aren't rolling off the showroom lot, attracting new subscribers becomes that much harder for Sirius XM.

However, there's little in the negative aspects of Ford's update that applies to Sirius XM. Ford points to the deep recession in Europe, and currency devaluations in Venezuela, as causes for holding back its near-term potential. Well, that's no skin off Sirius XM's back given that its satellites are geographically limited to North America. 

Next?

Well, the next part of Ford's warning is actually a positive for Sirius XM. Ford feels that operating margins will take a hit given the large number of new vehicles that will be rolling out next year. It's not just the redesigned Mustang; there will be 23 cars across global launches that will either be brand-new or refreshed. That's the most, Ford claims, in more than a century.

That may be bad news for Ford's bottom line in the near term, but that's perfect for Sirius XM. Refreshed vehicles translate into consumer buzz and buying activity. Folks trade in their old cars, and snap up new ones that will likely come with a satellite radio receiver.  

It's not a coincidence that the only time that Sirius XM experienced back-to-back quarters of sequential declines in subscribers came four years ago, when the auto market was slammed during the darkest recessionary stretch. There's nothing in Ford's update to suggest that domestic auto sales are peaking, and that's all that Sirius XM investors need to hear.

With Sirius XM slightly increasing its monthly rates next month, there will naturally be close attention paid to its churn and conversion rates. However, until Sirius XM proves otherwise, it's safe to say that Ford's shortcomings aren't Sirius XM's problems just yet.

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  • Report this Comment On December 18, 2013, at 4:28 PM, TJR wrote:

    This article is total bull. Ford will have no bearing on Sirius period going forward. And buy the way Fords new truck line will once again rule the truck field. Ford stock is a great buy right now.

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