Sirius Subscribers

The suspense around the Sirius-XM merger continues, but I like their growth for 2007. Up 38%, according to Business Week:

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. said Thursday it ended 2007 with 8.3 million subscribers, up 38 percent from a year earlier.

The company added about 2.3 million net subscribers during the year.

In October, Sirius had said it expected to have 8 million subscribers by year-end.

Chief Executive Mel Karmazin said, "Our gross subscriber additions in 2007 were the highest in the history of satellite radio."

"Based upon preliminary financial data, we expect to report significantly greater positive free cash flow in the fourth quarter of 2007 than the company reported in the fourth quarter of 2006," Karmazin added.

Sirius is awaiting federal approval of its plan to acquire competitor XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. XM signed an agreement in February outlining a sale to Sirius in a $13.6 billion deal that has drawn close regulatory scrutiny. Terms call for Sirius to pay 4.6 shares for each XM share.

Sirius also reported on churn rates, or the percentage of subscribers who end service in a given month. Its full-year monthly subscriber self-pay churn rate was 1.6 percent and overall churn was 2.2 percent, consistent with the low end of its guidance.

In October, Sirius said its net loss for the third quarter narrowed to $120.1 million, or 8 cents a share, from $162.9 million, or 12 cents, a year earlier. Revenue was $241.8 million, up from $167.1 million.

Sirius shares rose 10 cents, or 3.3 percent, to close at $3.15 Thursday.