Things are rocking at Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI), and with the stock back to within 3% of a new 52-week high it's just a positive catalyst away from breaking through on the upside. The upbeat support can come next week, when Sirius XM reports quarterly results come Thursday morning.
Let's go over a few of things that can move the stock following next week's planned report.
1. Guidance could move higher
One thing that Sirius XM has excelled at is under promising. It sets the bar low, only to clear it with ease. We've seen that happen all year long with key metrics. It seems as if a quarter doesn't go by without the SatRad star bumping some if not most of its guidance numbers higher.
The biggest revisions have come in subscriber growth. Sirius XM initiated its guidance for 2015 back in January, targeting just 1.2 million net additions for the year. That figure became 1.4 million three months later, and 1.8 million three months after that. Will Sirius XM stay at its forecast for 1.8 million net additions for 2015 or will it do what it has done the past two quarters and boost its target? The market appears to be pricing in another boost, so Sirius XM may have some explaining to do if it doesn't raise the bar.
2. Howard Stern's whereabouts come 2016
This will be the last time that Sirius XM is asked about the status of its most magnetic on-air talent. Howard Stern's five-year contract runs out in January, and -- just as we saw in 2010 -- both sides are negotiating up to the final weeks on a potential extension.
The initial five year deal wasn't extended until early December 2010, and we may be eyeing a similar scenario here unless either side walks away from the table before that. Stern teased about a new television opportunity earlier this year -- one that would replace his America's Got Talent obligation -- and it remains to be seen how all of that juggling will play out come January.
Will Stern be back after a decade of disrupting satellite radio? If so will it be for another five years or something shorter this time? Sirius XM may offer some insight into the situation during next week's earnings call.
3. SXM17 could raise the bar
The financial success of Sirius XM's flagship satellite radio service has been the stock's key driver. Other initiatives including online streaming, Sirius XM 2.0, and a push into telematics have been welcome and incremental, but they haven't really moved the needle.
The next big potential needle mover is SXM17, a next-gen platform that combines satellite broadcasts with smartphones or mobile Wi-Fi to provide enhanced programming and services. Sirius XM only touched briefly on SXM17 during its second quarter's call. It's still at the mercy of its auto partners, and January's CES expo will be when we get all of the details. However, we're now halfway to CES, and there could be some more details on how SXM17 could be a real game changer.
Now it's time to set the alarm to wake up early on Thursday morning and see if Sirius XM comes through.