This Week in Sirius XM Radio

Satellite radio is always on the move with Sirius XM.

Rick Munarriz
Rick Munarriz
Jul 5, 2014 at 7:00AM
Consumer Goods

Things never get dull for the country's lone satellite-radio provider. Shares of Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) moved higher on the week, inching up 0.9% to close at $3.46. The move fell short of the Nasdaq's 2% climb. 

There was more going on beyond the share-price gyrations, though. Wunderlich Securities reiterated its rating on Sirius XM. On the streaming front, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) expanded its reach into the automotive interface market, and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) made a notable acquisition.

Let's take a closer look.

Wunderlich test
Wunderlich Securities has been lukewarm on Sirius XM lately. Since December it has taken its price target from $4.50 to $4.20 to $3.80 to its most recent move lower back in April to $3.50. Wunderlich reiterated its neutral rating on the shares, sticking to its $3.50 price target on Wednesday. 

Wunderlich analyst Matthew Harrigan did have some concerns about the recent developments at Apple and Google. The tech giants are making moves to improve their chances in digital music. However, sticking to its "hold" rating at least isn't bad news. 

Apple's in your dashboard
CarPlay gained a little more support this past week. A week earlier we had Audi join the existing automakers that have voiced their support for Apple's interface that makes it easier for smartphone owners to turn their vehicles into connected cars. This is a trend that Sirius XM investors have been watching closely, since it will make it as easy to stream free or nearly free audio entertainment apps through their dashboards.

On Tuesday, Apple added eight more automakers to its CarPlay site. Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Mazda, Ram, Abarth, Alfa Romeo, and Fiat join the growing list of car manufacturers committing to support Apple's iOS platform. This doesn't mean Google's Android will be left out in the cold, though. This isn't like the old days when car companies were choosing between Sirius and XM. Most of these car companies plan to support both CarPlay and Android's Open Automotive Alliance. 

Sing a Songza
Google lived up to the rumor that it would snap up Songza, the popular app that allows users to enjoy music playlists for free in an ad-supported interface. Financially speaking, this was a much smaller deal than the one that Apple entered into for Beats Music, but it has the same goal of giving a tech giant greater flexibility in the streaming music market. 

Google doesn't plan to make any changes to Songza for now. Google has been pretty good about letting some of its acquisitions operate independently. However, under Google ownership, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Songza's reach grow beyond its current active user base of 5.5 million or some of its features incorporated into Google's other digital music initiatives.

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