Things never get dull for the country's lone satellite-radio provider. Shares of Sirius XM Radio (SIRI 0.91%) inched slightly lower this past week, sliding 0.5% to close at $3.92. The media darling's slide went against the Nasdaq's slight 0.2% gain on the week, but the S&P 500 and the Dow 30 did move lower.
There was more going on beyond the share-price gyrations, though. Sirius XM carried through on its promise to use the prior week's debt proceeds to pay down debt that's coming due earlier. A judge threw out a shareholder suit against Liberty Media's (FWONA) transaction that gave it a 40% preferred share stake. And Ford (F 3.63%) made an acquisition in connected car technology.
Let's take a closer look.
Debt or alive
When Sirius XM raised $650 million in new debt, the company explained that the senior notes due in 2020 would bear an annual interest rate of 5.875% and that it would be used to pay off the remaining 7.625% senior notes due 2018.
Sirius XM carried through on that promise, announcing on Wednesday that it will use the money raised to clean out the remaining $540 million in 2018 notes by Oct. 25.
On Friday afternoon, a Delaware judge tossed out a shareholder-backed lawsuit that arose in August. The suit alleged that Sirius XM's board breached its fiduciary duty to investors when it handed over a 40% preferred share stake to Liberty Media in 2009 in exchange for some needed financing.
The case seemed weak from the start. Sirius XM was going to file for bankruptcy protection if it didn't line up any financing, and that would have probably wiped out the common shareholders. The Liberty Media deal was naturally quite dilutive, but it kept the common-stock investors alive. Sirius XM has gone on to be one of the best investments over the past four years, so it's hard to knock that performance.
Ford made a small yet interesting acquisition this week. The automaker will shell out roughly $10 million for Livio, a provider of software solutions for connected car integration.
Ford has been on the cutting edge of integrating smartphone apps through dashboard systems with its SYNC AppLink platform, but it's also come under fire for some of its shortcomings in making connected cars easier for drivers. Livio should help make it more convenient, and Ford has the lofty goal of making this an automotive standard.
Connected cars may be seen as a threat to Sirius XM -- giving them a plethora of alternatives outside satellite radio -- but history has played out differently. Sirius XM has been able to keep growing and converting connected-car owners into paying subscribers. That shouldn't change just because Ford makes it easier to stream Internet radio through your car speakers.
A Sirius future
It was an interesting week for Sirius XM. The new week isn't likely to be dull.