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Sirius XM Is Stuck

By Rick Munarriz – Updated Apr 5, 2017 at 7:55PM

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There's been plenty of news about the satellite-radio giant. So why isn't the stock moving?    

Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) is no longer the poster child of volatility. Shares of the satellite-radio operator have closed between $0.33 and $0.35 throughout the young month of June. Go back to last month, and you'll see that the stock closed at $0.35 in five of May's final six trading days.

Yawn-worthy, isn't it? We've gone through the bankruptcy of the company's largest auto-manufacturing partner, while word of an allegedly leaked memo about a summer rate increase is starting to make the rounds through the mainstream news outlets. We're also now counting down the days to an official Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone app for Sirius XM premium streaming. Oh, and the number of Sirius XM shares sold short rose by a steep 19% over the latter half of last month.

We can debate over whether these news items should be moving the stock higher or lower, but we can probably agree that they should be moving the stock.

Perhaps the most intriguing nugget is the employee-training document that mentions a rate increase. If it's legit, Sirius XM plans to raise its monthly rates by as much as $1.98 next month. Sirius XM agreed to freeze rates for three years to win regulatory approval for its merger, but the FCC is allowing the satellite-radio giant the flexibility to pass on costs related to higher music royalty fees.

Don't blame Sirius XM, in other words. Pin the tail on the music labels, including Warner Music Group (NYSE:WMG) and Sony (NYSE:SNE). If consumers buy in, Sirius XM will be able to exhale by passing along an escalating royalty fee structure. But if subscribers balk, Sirius XM will be in trouble.

The timing could be lousy, since Sirius XM is coming off its first sequential quarterly decline in subscribers. Shareholders tend to applaud rate increases, but only if they believe that there's pricing power in the increases. That doesn't seem to be the case here, or else the stock would have been inching higher.

So what's going on, Sirius XM investors? Is this thing on? A lack of any inspiring movement is so terrestrial.

Other ways to slice and dice satellite-radio fandom:

Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a subscriber to both Sirius and XM. He owns no shares in any of the companies in this story and is also a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

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