By Brandon Matthews
Yesterday, Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) reported its third quarter results, which can only be described as outstanding by any measure. Subscriber growth has returned, revenue has increased, costs continue to fall as any future liquidity questions have now been put to rest.
As critics attempt to spin the results, much like a sports fan would blame a referee for a favorite team’s loss, they ignore the most important facts that the company has now achieved positive free cash flow and cash flow break-even. This while beating earnings expectations by .02 per share. All of this has been achieved in just over 1 year since the merger of the two satellite radio giants, demonstrating the futility of betting against the future success of Sirius XM Radio.
Nothing worth having or doing ever comes easy. The N.Y. Yankees just won the World Series, but it took time to get there. There was doubt and fear earlier in the year. Injuries, losses and other obstacles that needed to be overcome. In the end, not a single critic nor their combined assaults were able to prevent the 2009 Yankees from realizing their destiny. Likewise, the verbal assaults that will no doubt come today from Sirius XM critics will have little in the way of fact and much in the way of misplaced negative speculation. Facts don’t lie. People Do.
We now begin a new era, as Sirius XM can no longer be justified as a radio company and compared to the likes of Clear Channel and other failing radio companies. The satellite radio provider has leapfrogged its way into a new weight class of subscription-based companies such as DirecTV and Comcast (CMCSA). Cash flow breakeven and free cash flow cannot be ignored. It cannot be denied. It means that all future growth will go directly to the bottom line, which means company shareholders will reap the rewards of victory.
As of Friday, shares of SIRI remain on sale at .62. Tuna Amobi of Standard & Poors has a 1.00 price target on the equity. Jim Goss of Barrington Research Associates has provided a target of 1.30. The current quarter looks to be the most promising quarter in the company’s history, as a new nationwide branding campaign is about to begin and retailers such as Apple (AAPL), Best Buy (BBY) and RadioShack (RSH) promote new satellite radio products. By December, everyone in America will know that Sirius XM Radio is here to stay. Demand will increase. Churn will drop. Retail will again be on the rise.
For the critics that remain, the game is about over. The clock is running out and they have no timeouts left. All they can do now is grab a face-mask and hurl insults as they cry of their misfortune. Enjoy the victory Sirius XM. You’ve earned it.
Disclosure: Long SIRI