SIRIUS Playing Chicken with XM over 4Q Numbers

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

It was very funny today to see XM come out around 10am with info on reporting its 4Q05 numbers. Then just a few hours later SIRIUS comes out telling us they will report their 4Q05 a day later. Scott Moritz from wrote:

"When programming executives take charge, you can expect a little jockeying for exposure.

Analysts and investors have been awaiting fourth-quarter updates from satellite radio rivals Sirius and XM. As earnings period rolled along and the companies remained mum on their reporting dates, speculation arose that Sirius chief Mel Karmazin didn't want to share the limelight with his rivals down in Washington.

That talk seemed to prove out Tuesday, as XM said it would post fourth-quarter numbers next Thursday and Sirius followed suit with plans to report the day after. Sirius committed to its Feb. 17 appointment less than four hours after XM announced the timing of its own release.

Observers suspect that XM may report the weaker numbers, with higher-than-expected costs per subscriber addition and possibly a slip in market share as Howard Stern pulled users to Sirius. Some momentum at Sirius certainly appeared visible last month, when the company surprised bystanders by outgaining its bigger rival for the fourth quarter on the subscriber rolls.

Sirius declined to comment and XM did not return a call seeking comment

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Sirius shares jumped 19 cents to $5.68, while XM fell a penny to $23.54 in afternoon trading.
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