Hitting $4.10 on an intraday basis may not seem like a meaty milestone, but keep in mind that this is the same stock that was being sold for as little as $0.05 when it bottomed out in early 2009. Few thought that the once struggling satellite radio provider would be able to get its stock this high without a reverse stock split.
Sirius XM has succeeded, and now this stock that's been an impressive 82-bagger since hitting rock bottom six years ago is rewarding its believers.
This isn't a new all-time high. The stock traded as high as $4.18 in late 2013, and if it's able to bust through that, we would have to go all the way back to 2007 to find the last time that the stock traded higher.
It may be shocking to learn that a stock that has seen its value pop 82-fold in less than six years traded higher before that, but this isn't the same company that it was back then. Sirius XM -- it was merely Sirius at the time -- had far fewer shares outstanding. It didn't have to double its share count to merge with rival XM in 2008, hand over a 40% preferred share stake to Liberty Media (NASDAQ:FWONA) in 2009, and swap high-interest debt for low-priced shares the way it did during its darkest days. Liberty Media would go on to nibble its way into a controlling stake of Sirius XM.
Even those 2007 highs weren't the ultimate high-water mark. The stock traded as high as $9.43 in late 2004, rallying at the time after signing Howard Stern to a five-year content deal. Oh, and that's not even the all-time high. Sirius traded in the double-digits through most of the dot-com bubble days, crashing with the rest of the market in 2001. However, it also had even fewer shares outstanding then. A painful recapitalization in 2003 blew up the share count. In other words, Sirius XM's stock may still be far from taking out its all-time highs, but it commands a much higher market cap now.
Sirius XM's gargantuan share count is a problem, and the ear entertainer is doing its part to change that by aggressively buying back its stock. It's good for the money. Sirius XM is targeting $1.3 billion in free cash flow this year.
Between growth investors buying into the growing and consistently profitable Sirius XM -- and the company itself eating some of its own cooking -- it isn't a surprise to see the stock hitting a two-year high today. As long as its fundamentals keep moving higher and its share count continues to reverse years of gluttony, Sirius XM investors should make out just fine here.