This Week in Sirius XM Radio

Satellite radio is always on the move with Sirius XM.

Jul 12, 2014 at 12:30PM

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 2.3% to close at $3.38. The move was slightly worse than the Nasdaq's 1.6% slide. 

There was more going on beyond the share-price gyrations, though. Sirius XM announced the date for its next earnings report. Zacks upgraded the stock, and it's dealing with the aftermath of firing morning-show host Anthony Cumia a weekend earlier.

Let's take a closer look.

Quarter back
Investors are now a little more than two weeks away from Sirius XM's next quarterly report. The satellite-radio star set aside the morning of July 29 to host its conference call to discuss its performance.

Sirius XM hasn't pre-announced any metrics ahead of the report, but that isn't necessarily problematic. Sometimes it will push out its latest subscriber target shortly after concluding a reporting period when they're impressive, but there have been plenty of upside surprises in its history that came without the pre-announced fanfare. 

Analysts see a profit of $0.02 a share on $1.02 billion in revenue. That represents revenue growth of 8.7%, decelerating from the 11% year-over-year uptick it posted just three months ago. 

Zacks in the box
Sirius XM saw its shares boosted to a "buy" rating from Zacks on Wednesday. The trigger for the upgrade is that Sirius XM is making headway in diversifying its operations with a bigger push into telematics. 

It inked deals with two of the largest automakers last month to provide complimentary multi-year subscriptions to its SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link navigation offerings. More than merely a way to get around and skirt traffic -- something that anyone with a smartphone can do these days -- Sirius XM's tools make it easier to do things like check for nearby multiplex movie times or find the cheapest gas prices without having to fumble with a smartphone.

No one puts Cumia in a corner
Sirius XM began dealing with the aftermath of its decision to fire Opie & Anthony co-host Anthony Cumia a week after he went on a racially charged Twitter rant. Cumia was set off after being physically attacked, and while he clearly crossed the line on some of his eventually deleted tweets, one can always argue that his show was born out of controversial shock-jock antics in the first place. Sirius XM knew what it was getting into when it brought in the two morning-show hosts who were booted from terrestrial radio for crossing the line. 

It remains to be seen what will happen to the show. The two other stars are under contract until later this year, and it will be interesting to see whether Sirius XM sticks with the show, brings back Cumia, or drums up new programming.

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Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Berkshire Hathaway and Twitter and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway 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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