Skip to comments.Loss Widens at XM Satellite Radio
Posted on 02/10/2005 1:30:50 PM PST by t_skoz
Loss Widens at XM Satellite Radio
XM Satellite Radio Reports Wider Net Loss for Fourth Quarter, Despite Adding Subscribers
Feb 10, 2005 XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. reported a wider net loss for the fourth quarter of 2004 on Thursday as the company bulked up on new subscribers, adding more than 700,000 in the latest quarter to top 3.2 million users.
XM, which is based in Washington, D.C., reported a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $190.4 million for the last three months of 2004, more than the loss of $170.2 million reported in the comparable period a year ago.
The per-share loss calculations, however, fell to 93 cents in the latest period from $1.12 a year ago because of an increase in the number of shares outstanding. The loss was smaller than the $1.02 per share that analysts polled by Thomson First Call had been expecting.
Revenues more than doubled in the latest quarter to $83.1 million from $33.5 million in the year-ago period. The revenues were also above the $80.5 million that analysts had been expecting.
XM has been spending heavily on programming and marketing to build up its service as it competes with rival Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. Both companies have been signing deals with automakers to install their devices in new cars, and both are also signing multimillion dollar deals for programming, including Major League Baseball for XM and Howard Stern for Sirius.
XM said it cost the company a total of $100 to add each new subscriber in 2004, down from $137 in 2003. The company disclosed in a regulatory filing that it expected to break even on a cash flow basis in 2006, and that it expects to have subscription revenues of $480 million in 2005. The company also said it expects to have 5.5 million subscribers at the end of this year.
Last month Sirius reported that it ended 2004 with more than 1.1 million subscribers and expected to finish 2005 with more than 2.5 million. Sirius is being run by Mel Karmazin, a longtime radio executive who departed last year as the president and chief operating officer of media giant Viacom Inc., the owner of CBS and MTV.
XM's stock was up 28 cents at $31.68 in midday trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, about in the middle of its 52-week range of $20.35 to $40.89.
Same here with my Buick LeSabre. Nice to drive cross country and never lose a station.
Trips in the car are wonderful, even when we get out of range of local stations, the XM is always there for us. We listen to Fox News, and even CNN. We have our choice of any type of music we want, from Country and Western to Broadway shows.
We love XM.
The attraction is: programming worth listening to.
High-profile AM talk show hosts aside, there is little worth listening to on commercial radio, particularly when it comes to music stations.
XM offers a wide range of music, with huge playlists, that make listening enjoyable again. Plus Fox News and the MLB thing just sweetens the pot.
No, I'm not a subscriber yet, but will be as soon as I buy a new vehicle.
I listen to FOX News on XM for about an hour a day at work, usually just to get Special Report. It's perfect for that. I can even get a perfect signal through the double-thick panes in our commercial high-rise. (although I am facing the right direction...)
They have 3.2 million subscribers and they lost $190 million in 3 months.
This means they're losing $20 per subscriber per month.
I love my XM to death, but I'll be darned if I can figure out how they're supposed to make any money.
One thing they can do is get rid of all the DJ's. If I wanted some yutz to talk over my music, I'd listen to FM.
I suspect a good portion of their reported operating expenses is depreciation on their satellites (and related assets). This is a non-cash expense.
On a cash flow basis, they're probably pretty close to break even... which means they can meet their day-to-day expenses. They need to grow their subscriber base by about 5x to throw off sufficient cash to retire their debt. They have some time to do this so long as they can keep the cash flow positive.
>>But I do believe they will be VERY profitable in the future.<<
Well, them or whoever buys their infrastructure if they go TU.
In commercial real estate, sometimes you see a building go up in an apparently great location, but nobody moves in. After a year or so, the owner defaults, it is sold at auction, and the new owner, having much less in the building, rents it out at rates that actually attract tenants.
Hope XM sticks through this for a while longer. I was just thinking to myself the other day after reading an ad in an old magazine that I should look into XM.
Dozens of channels of every type of music, talk ,etc. (the ad had 11 or 12 distinct Hard/Alterna/Classic Rock channels alone listed--YEA!), music by decade, music by theme, talk radio, sports, etc. Many of the channels were listed as commercial free, some as unedited (great for comedy and rap); it sure sounds like a winner to me.
If XM hold up for a few more months, I think I'm definately going to join up. Is it really as good as it sounds?
I know Michael Powell wanted assurances from both that they would have interoperability at some point, but he didn't give a time frame.
I assume he put it somewhere in writing.
My guess is still not sure, but it is inevitable.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
The conventional wisdom is that the third owner of a golf course is the first guy to make money.
That reminds me of a quote from a motivatinal speaker for real estate agents.
It is best to be the first love, second wife and third real estate agent.
I love my XM. I have as presets the Christian channels (hard rock, lighter); all decades (70s, 80s, 90s); an older rock station called "deeptracks"; "BPM," which is a tecno dance channel; comedy, and I can go to movie scores or broadway quickly.
In the article it details it all.
The loss widened in as much XM is still not making money. The loss shrunk in that they're losing less.
Just like how the Democrats play word games.
They have to slip in commercials into the talkers for the obvious reason that the source has commercials. What are they to do? Give dead air?
Never. Theoetically you can have one unit that could cover both but since it's a pay service and use two different signals you'd have to have a dual tuner and a licensing agreement.
Never gonna happen.
A DJ on satellite radio is worthless really. Outside of compiling a playlist the song announcement is on the LCD.