Things never get dull for the country's lone satellite-radio provider. Shares of Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) moved higher this week, closing 3.7% higher to hit $3.12. The general market moved higher, but Sirius XM's gain was better than the Nasdaq's 2.3% pop.
There was more going on beyond the share-price gyrations, though. Sirius XM kicked off the week by presenting at a Latin Music conference. Short interest declined through the first half of April. Investors and analysts also began to jockey for position ahead of Tuesday morning's quarterly report.
Let's take a closer look.
Sirius XM begins with "Si"
Trinity Colon, Sirius XM's vice president of programming, was a panelist during the first panel discussion of the 24th Annual Billboard Latin Music Conference. Colon shared the stage with Pandora's (NYSE: P) Marcos Juarez and Spotify Latin America's Bahigh Acuna to discuss the opportunities available to Latin music artists in the era of satellite and Internet radio.
Sirius XM made broadening its Latin music offerings a priority during the Sirius XM 2.0 expansion, though the new platform hasn't taken off the way that investors probably were hoping that it would. Colon discussed the composition of its subscribers who tune in to its several Latin music stations, pointing out that they are often bilingual drivers who also enjoy talk, sports, and comedy.
"Our focus is on the bicultural, bilingual U.S. population," Colon said, as retold by Billboard. "Someone who is interested in Latino music would also be interested in listening to Howard Stern or our '70s channel."
Pandora's Juarez also discussed the challenges of addressing a diverse market within the Latin community.
"We have immigrants, first generation, second generation, monolingual, bilingual -- our goal is to have something for everyone," he said.
In that sense, it's good that Sirius XM's online initiatives can afford that kind of deep Pandora-like personalization through the recently introduced MySXM.
Bears continue to clear out of Sirius XM, as there were 378.5 million shares sold short. Yes, that's a lot of naysayers, but it's actually the third exchange reporting period in a row in which short interest has declined. This is Sirius XM's lowest shorting activity since the end of last year.
Don't worry, bulls. That's still plenty of ammo for a short squeeze should Sirius XM deliver strong quarterly results on Tuesday.
Investors will be sure to get up early on Tuesday morning to check out Sirius XM's first-quarter report. Analysts see Sirius XM earning $0.03 a share, and that would match its most profitable quarter on an adjusted basis. The media giant earned $0.02 a share during the same period a year earlier. Wall Street sees revenue climbing 13% to $906 million.
There's little reason to believe that Sirius XM won't be able to live up to these expectations. The economy's humming along, and Netflix's (NASDAQ: NFLX) blowout quarter on Monday shows that consumers have no problem paying up for a valuable entertainment subscription service.
True, satellite radio and a streaming video service aren't perfect matches. Netflix's offering is also priced at just half of Sirius XM's going monthly rate. However, it does indicate that the consumer isn't flinching despite some signs that confidence is dipping.
We'll see how it all plays out on Tuesday, of course.
It was an interesting week for Sirius XM. The new week isn't likely to be dull.