Bear Stearns maintained an "outperform" rating on Sirius Satellite Radio ahead of the orbital radio provider's fourth-quarter earnings report. Although Sirius topped analysts' forecasts when it pre-announced 2005 subscriptions of 3.3 million on Dec. 27, analyst Robert Peck said the company has the potential to issue a guarded outlook for net subscriber additions in 2006.
"The company expects to end 2006 with more than 6 million subs, suggesting net adds of 2.7 million for the year, which we think likely is conservative," Peck wrote in a note to clients.
"2006 probably will be the first year with significant OEM [original equipment manufacturer] contribution and will also benefit from the Stern transition in the first quarter."
The analyst noted that Sirius captured more than 41% of the satellite radio market's new subscribers in the fourth quarter, gaining ground on larger rival XM Satellite Radio on the strength of Stern's January launch.
SIRIUS will report all the 4Q 05 Numbers in early Feb..