This Week in Sirius XM Radio

Satellite radio is always on the move with Sirius XM.

Mar 29, 2014 at 1:30PM

Things never get dull for the country's lone satellite radio provider. Shares of Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) moved lower on the week, sliding 5.7% to close at $3.16. The media darling's slide was fare worse than Nasdaq's 2.8% slide on the week.

There was more going on beyond the share price gyrations, though. Barclays upgraded the stock. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is beefing up its iTunes Radio platform with news content, and reports suggest it's coming to Android devices. And Pandora (NYSE:P)entered into an interesting deal with Peet's Coffee to offer a station curated by Peet's that will be featured at its coffee houses as well as on Pandora.

Let's take a closer look.

An opportunistic bull
Analysts have been warming up to Sirius XM now that it's a swinging single again, and Barclays became the latest public backer when analyst Kannan Venkateshwar upgraded the satellite-radio star from "equal weight" to "overweight."

He is reiterating his $4 price target. That's lower than Merrill Lynch's $5 price target and Evercore's goal of $4.50, but Venkateshwar doesn't have much of a reason to push his firm's price higher after seeing the stock drift lower since peaking late last year. In short, it's not so much a matter of analyst coming around as it is the stock dropping to the point where he sees it as a buy again.

Turning up the iRadio
Apple's iTunes Radio has been more of a challenge to the similar Pandora than Sirius XM, but the consumer tech giant is tossing out a wider net these days. Reports surfaced earlier in the week that Apple will soon make iTunes Radio available as an Android app. Apple originally limited mobile usage to iOS to make its iPhone and iPad stand out. Now that Android has taken the market share lead in both smartphones and tablets it's a move that makes sense if iTunes Radio wants to reach the largest audience possible.

Then Apple and NPR announced that iTunes Radio will be adding a 24-hour NPR channel to its lineup. The move will give the platform Apple's first non-music station, opening the door for more talk, news, and entertainment that will place Sirius XM somewhat in its crosshairs. 

NPR is available across various platforms and applications already, so this is more about the new direction of iTunes Radio than this single piece of content.

For Peet's sake
Peet's Coffee and Pandora are teaming up for a partnership that will find Peet's curating a playlist that will stream across all of its stores. The station will also be available to all Pandora users.

There may not be a lot of people who want to re-create the Peet's coffeehouse experience away from the java hub, but it's an interesting relationship as Sirius XM is often the choice for retail operations seeking a more fluid alternative to Muzak. Pandora may strike more partnerships this way in a move that would increase visibility for both the streaming service and the retail partners. 

A Sirius future
It was an interesting week for Sirius XM. The new week isn't likely to be dull -- and the Oracle of Omaha almost never is. Warren Buffett has made billions through his investing and he wants you to be able to invest like him. Through the years, Buffett has offered up investing tips to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. Now you can tap into the best of Warren Buffett's wisdom in a new special report from The Motley Fool. Click here now for a free copy of this invaluable report.


Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, and Pandora Media and owns shares of Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, Pandora Media, and Sirius XM Radio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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