Liberty Media (LMCA +0.5%) closes a deal to buy 302M shares of Sirius XM (SIRI -2.7%) at $2.15 a pop to take its stake up to 45.2%. The move follows a string of maneuvers by Liberty aimed at gaining "de facto" control of Siri.
The FCC dismisses Liberty Media's (LMCA) application for approval to take de facto control of Sirius XM (SIRI). Liberty, which owns preferred shares convertible into a 40% stake in SIRI, was unable to obtain the necessary passwords and other info needed to file the application electronically, which rendered the application "unacceptable."
While Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) shares have jumped 7% in the past two sessions on speculation that Liberty Media (LMCA) will buy out the company, Canaccord Genuity doesn't think it will happen. "LMCA can monetize its stake without increasing it," the firm says, adding it would "be surprised if LMCA spent $1.5B for an additional 10% after getting 40% for less than half that."
Sirius (SIRI) is in a fight for its independence, and has asked the FTC to "dismiss or deny" an application from Liberty Media (LMCA) to take "de facto" control of the satellite broadcaster, Sirius said on Friday. Liberty has preferred stock convertible into 40%, which it received when it lent several hundred million dollars to Sirius in 2009. (previous)
Shares of Sirius XM (SIRI +4.3%) show a pesky gain after reports swirl around that Liberty Media (LMCA +1.1%) is closing in on adding to its ownership stake in the company and vying to gain "de facto" control of some Sirius' licenses and assets via an investor agreement between the firms.
Though bullish on Sirius XM's (SIRI -0.5%) business prospects, Morgan Stanley thinks the good news is now priced into both shares and analyst estimates. As a result, the firm recommends investors looking for exposure buy shares of Liberty Media (LMCA), which owns 40% of Sirius via convertible preferred stock. Morgan estimates Sirius accounts for 48% of LMCA's pre-tax net asset value. (previously)
Sirius XM (SIRI +1.4%) finishes the day higher after Citigroup says that Liberty Media (LMCA +0.5%) may acquire an 80% stake in the company. Citi believes an 80% ownership by Liberty would allow Sirius to use its cash flow to retire the remaining 20% of public float over next four years.
Warren Buffett mostly tweaked around the edges of Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A) Q4 holdings, but the firm bought 2.7M shares of Davita (DVA), which runs dialysis centers, and 1.7M shares of Liberty Media (LMCA), a communications and entertainment company. It raised its stake in DirecTV (DTV) to 20M shares from 4.2M.
Barclays starts coverage of Sirius XM Radio (SIRI -0.7%) at Underweight with a downside $2 price target, believing healthy growth is "more than priced in" at current levels. The firm says investors seeking exposure to SIRI would be better served via more reasonably valued Liberty Media (LMCA -0.2%), SIRI's largest shareholder with a 40% stake.
Hulu CEO Jason Kilar takes to the site's blog to report revenues up 60% in 2011 to $420M. Hulu Plus now has 1.5M subscribers and he expects paying customers to account for more than half of the firm's overall business by later this year. By including advertising as part of the revenue stream, Kilar believes Hulu will eventually be able to pay 50% more to content providers than other online subscription services.
Liberty Media (LMCA, LMCB) says it will pay $136M to the IRS to settle a dispute regarding tax positions taken by a subsidiary. However, the settlement will also result in $700M a decrease in the company's short-term deferred tax liability, and a $460M decrease in its long-term deferred tax liability.
eMarketer estimates the average American now spends 4:34/day watching TV, a figure that's actually up 10 minutes from last year. Internet usage rose by 12 minutes, to 2:47/day, while newspaper and magazine usage both declined. It's noted that mobile devices still command a disproportionately small share of ad budgets relative to their usage rate, leaving plenty of room for growth. (Nielsen data)
Sirius XM (SIRI +5.6%), up on Friday thanks to a Lazard upgrade, is rising today on an NY Post report claiming Liberty Media (LCAPA) is "having discussions" about adding to its 40% stake in the company, which it acquired in 2009. It's noted that "tax implications and other disadvantages" may prevent Liberty from upping its stake for now, but these issues go away in March.
Liberty Media says it is eliminating its confusing tracking stock structure and will convert each share of Liberty Starz (LSTZA +0.8%) common stock into 0.88129 shares of Liberty Capital (LCAPA +0.5%). After the offering, the combined company will have two classes of common stock, trading on Nasdaq as LMCA and LMCB. LINTA +3.9%.