Thursday evening's Mad Money interview with Mel Karmazin of Sirius XM (SIRI) exhibited a remarkable turnaround. Jim Cramer has been bearish on SiriusXM for years now, often bashing the company or the stock or both for various issues. Anyone watching tonight, though, would walk away with a warm fuzzy feeling.
The overall tone of the interview was one of excitement about SiriusXM and how far they have come, as well as where they are heading in the future. You can find the video at this link here:
The interview started off with Cramer illustrating some of the history surrounding Sirius XM. He moved from a darker past where the company nearly went bankrupt, and quickly progressed to to, highlighting the current $2.30 share price and over 30% appreciation in the last few months.
The interview was fast and furious, skipping around from topic to topic, so I'll try to touch on each point briefly here in summary.
Upon speaking with Mel, they dove right into the growing free cash flow of SiriusXM highlighting growth of approximately 300 million year over year and how this was an important metric in evaluating the company's performance. Moving forward, their focus turned to competition from internet competitors, namely Pandora (P). Pitfalls of internet radio were discussed, with Mel stating that they simply did not see such services as true competitors, and he felt that they were failing business models.
Decreasing costs, contrasting to Pandora's increasing costs, were touched upon. Sirius XM's costs year over year continue to go down significantly as a percentage of revenue, and much of this is due to the fact that Sirius XM has leverage being the only satellite radio company for content to gravitate towards.
The much spoken about and speculated on price increase was talked about. What was telling to me here, is that Mel stated, actually stressed, that the reaction to the price increase has been "very modest." From this I draw the conclusion that conservative guidance may be raised "very soon." Mel's personal valuation of Sirius XM? 15 billion. This is a very important number and gives insight into what Mel may push for in the event of a possible buyout.
Share buybacks were then touched upon, stating that there is absolutely nothing out there that Mel can see them seeking to acquire, and indicated that the agenda "must be to return capital to shareholders" and touched again upon a share buyback by the end of the year.
Sirius XM sees major benefit from both new and used auto sales this year being at record highs in recent history.
In closing, Cramer congratulated Mel on a job well done in saving Sirius XM from near bankruptcy several years ago.
What hit me, though, was hearing Cramer at the end of the interview state the following :
"Go ahead, Google (GOOG) them, and you'll see why Sirius XM is going to be a huge success beyond where it is now!"
Did I hear that correctly? Did one of Sirius XM's biggest bears over the years, just say those words?
Go ahead and watch the interview, and see for yourself... If you're bullish on Sirius XM, this video should bring a bit of a smile to your face.
Additional disclosure: I am long SIRI June $2 calls.