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Why Shares of Sirius XM Holdings Popped 14% Last Month

By Chris Neiger - Updated Feb 7, 2018 at 10:12AM

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The prospect of a new revenue stream and subscriber growth in 2017 boosted investor sentiment.

What happened

Shares of Sirius XM Holdings (SIRI -1.84%) were up 14% in January, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the company announced its new SiriusXM with 360L service and reported its best self-pay subscriber growth in five years during the fourth quarter.

So what

The company announced in the middle of January that it was a launching new service called SiriusXM with 360L, which allows subscribers to choose from new on-demand content that wasn't previously available. It also tailors content to what users are listening to and offers smart recommendations.

Car infotainment screen displaying Sirius XM logo.

Image source: Sirius XM.

Not only does 360L represent a potential new revenue stream for the company, but it will allow the company to gather data on a user's listening preferences. 360L will allow users to select programming recommendations on some touchscreen infotainment displays, and that feedback should help the company learn more about its users' preferences. That, eventually, could lead to more targeted ads, or at least better content promotion.

The company's share price continued to climb after Sirius announced its fourth-quarter 2017 results. Sirius XM's net loss totaled $37 million in the quarter, and revenue came in at $1.4 billion. That may not seem all that impressive, but the company was optimistic about its self-pay subscriber growth, which increased by 1.56 million net additions for the full-year 2017.

Sirius XM CEO Jim Meyer said in a press release that: "The fourth quarter capped a strong year for Sirius XM and was our best quarter for self-pay subscriber growth in five years. We exceeded all of our 2017 subscriber and financial guidance, even after increasing these targets during the year."

Now what

SiriusXM's shares have slipped just a bit in February, losing about 1% since the beginning of the month. The company's self-pay subscriber gains from last year and its new opportunities from 360L are positive signs, but the company still needs to figure out a clear strategy for its stake in Pandora this year.

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