This Week in Sirius XM Radio

Satellite radio is always on the move with Sirius XM.

Apr 5, 2014 at 7:30AM

Things never get dull for the country's lone satellite radio provider. Shares of Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) moved higher on the week, climbing 1.3% to close at $3.20.

There was more going on beyond the share-price gyrations, though. Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR) announced that a majority of its rental cars now have in-dash satellite receivers. Sirius XM also inched higher on news that Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA) was raising money in an asset sale. On the streaming front, Pandora (NYSE:P)offered up somewhat encouraging metrics for March.

Let's take a closer look.

I'm a loaner, Dottie -- a rebel
Drivers looking to rent a car from Avis or Budget now have a pretty good chance of landing in a car with a Sirius XM receiver. Avis Budget Group revealed that receivers are now installed in 60% of their available rentals.

It's not a free perk. Renters have to pay $6.99 for the first day and $3.99 for every day after that. The rate is capped at $19.99 for an entire week. Yes, that's more than an entire month of the rental, but obviously Avis Budget isn't going to offer premium radio unless it can profit from the arrangement. It should still be a positive for the satellite-radio operator as it increases the platform's exposure.

Turning the page on bookstores
John Malone is mixing things up. Liberty Media is slashing its stake in Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) from 17% to less than 2%. The move to reduce its exposure of the troubled retailer by 90% made shares of Sirius XM move 3% higher on Wednesday.

Why? Well, some investors may think that Liberty Media's move to raise money by unloading a sizable position could be deployed to making a sweetened offer for Sirius XM. That doesn't make a lot of sense, though. Liberty Media was proposing an all-stock offer, and it wouldn't have needed money to add more of a premium. However, it will still be interesting to see what Liberty Media does with the proceeds from the Barnes & Noble sale.

Pandora rocks
We only have a couple more months of having Pandora offer up monthly performance metrics, so we may as well make the most of it.

The leading music streaming service closed out March with 75.3 million active listeners. That's flat with February's user count, but an 8% gain over the past year. Though sequential growth is flat, folks are tuning in more, as listener hours hit a record 1.71 billion, 14% ahead of what it was serving up a year earlier. Pandora will stop reporting monthly numbers after May, but it seems to be moving in a good direction in terms of usage as we get there.

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 Berkshire Hathaway and Pandora Media and owns shares of Barnes & Noble, Berkshire Hathaway, Liberty Media, 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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