As any Sirius (SIRI) investor knows, Jim Cramer has seemingly been attempting to pummel the stock lately. There seems to be a mass knee-jerk reaction to perceived negativity, with no one venturing out to look at whether or not his statements have any merit. In this case the argument stems from opposing viewpoints, yet all parties seemingly have the same facts.
Firms such as Merrill Lynch and Citigroup have set much higher price targets than Jim Cramer and Goldman Sachs. Just like Republicans and Democrats, they are looking at the same picture and arriving at opposite conclusions. It’s easy to see the reasoning behind Merrill Lynch’s Jessica Reif Cohen’s analysis of the stock as she continually provides updates and gives solid reasoning for her methodology.
In the case of Cramer, he seems to offer only opinion and that is where the problem lies. According to a recent filing from Goldman Sachs, however, his opinion may be based on certain facts that I have discovered. As it turns out, Goldman Sachs owns nearly 130 million dollars worth of those February 2009 convertibles that Jim references in most of his Sirius XM “bashing sessions.” Most people understand that Jim worked for Goldman Sachs and it would stand to reason that certain “information” found its way to him from the top. I’m not saying Goldman is manipulating the stock price, I’m just saying Jim seems to be warning people that that the price may be manipulated going into Q1 of next year. That’s not what a bad guy does. A bad guy would tell people to buy despite the risks.
Everyone is blaming Jim for the merger deal getting killed initially and forcing Sirius into a corner. It is beginning to look more to me like Jim is a pawn in all of this. What appears to be Goldman padding their already beefy portfolio with Sirius XM stock is more likely to be short covering as the “bond bullies” of Goldman and Friends keep manipulating the stock by shorting and covering; over and over again just as Jim stated. The conflict boils down to the perceptions of traders vs. investors. The long term growth prospects of Sirius make it an appealing stock to own, but short term bumps are something a trader would play rather than go long on.
Not coincidentally, I’m sure, Jim has come out and stated as much without naming names or pointing fingers. When Mel did the Mad Money interview, he also gave insight into this problem. Cramer has suggested that people looking to initiate new positions wait until the refinancing deal is done in February. That’s probably a prudent thing to do if you are in his line of work. Mel stated that the company is working to get this convert issue out of the way. An investor, on the other hand, would use any dips to lower their cost average.
The prospects of Q4 could cause the company’s stock to reach that magical 4.00 price at which time the convertibles would execute the swap and go long. In my opinion, Cramer may actually be looking out for the little guy in this as I believe he was just as blindsided as the rest of the Sirius XM investment community - but of course he cannot admit that. It may be time to give Jim the benefit of the doubt, and begin a conversation about what to do about the convertible situation and the arbitrage that has been plaguing shareholders.
In my opinion I believe this is the first priority of Mel and Co.. I believe they are working diligently behind the scenes to get these matters in order. As an investor, I’ve certainly had ups and downs but I’m ok with that because the long term prospects of the company are sound in my opinion. Is Sirius a stock for the weak-hearted? Possibly not at this time. Is Jim Cramer doing what he feels is right? Probably so based on the information he has.
Position: Long SIRI