Sirius XM Gets OK To Raise Prices as Subs Pass 21M for First Time

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Sirius XM subscribers exceeded 21 million for the first time as the satellite radio company reported record revenue of $744 million in Q2 due to auto sales growth and increased OEM penetration.

Mel KarmazinIn addition, the company announced the FCC on Thursday issued an order claiming “there is no need for them to be involved in our pricing going forward,” said Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin Tuesday. “We will be able to price our service as we see fit,” he added, but did not go as far as to announce a formal increase from the current base price of $12.95/month.

Sirius XM added over 452,000 new subscribers during the quarter ended June 30, which was less than the approximately 583,000 added for the same quarter last year.

The company expressed optimism for the remainder of the year into early 2012 and raised its guidance for the full year to 1.6 million subscribers, up from 1.4 million.  It now forecasts its cash flow will reach $400 million for the year, up from prior guidance of $350 million.

Over 65 percent of new cars now have factory installed satellite radio, said Karmazin, noting, “Our penetration rate has never been higher.”

In April the company began enrolling dealers including over 1,000 GM dealers in a program to activate satellite radios found in used cars (not just certified, pre-owned).  The company promised additional announcements regarding the used car market later this year and Karmazin declared, “The previously owned market will be a very significant catalyst for our growth in the years ahead.”

As to new competition from Internet radio and other technology he said, “Sirius XM is so well positioned, we continue to grow and our growth is accelerating year over year…we are growing in what is a very competitive market and a weak economy…”

Sirius XM said churn remained stable and adjusted EBITDA increased by 20 percent over Q2 last year to $185 million.

For the full earnings report click here.

Source: Sirius XM

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