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Satellite radio giant SiriusXM, home of Howard Stern, on Thursday reported higher first-quarter earnings as it continued to add subscribers.
SiriusXM added a net of 257,000 subscribers in the latest quarter, ending it with 31.6 million.
The company, led by CEO Jim Meyer and controlled by John Malone’s Liberty Media, reported earnings of $207.1 million, up 19.8 percent from $172.9 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 20 percent to $475 million.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, another profitability metric analysts look at, in the first quarter jumped 14 percent to a quarterly record of $502 million. Revenue increased 8 percent to $1.29 billion.
“The year is off to a very solid start for our business, and we are on track to achieve our guidance for 2017,” said Meyer. “We remain focused on delivering a bundle of compelling, timely and entertaining programming for subscribers who have come to expect the best in audio from SiriusXM. We continue to air new voices from unique personalities, such as special series from Brooke Shields, comedic TV star Jim Parsons, Andre Leon Talley of Vogue fame and a new daily show from Craig Ferguson. “
SiriusXM also unveiled the acquisition of Automatic Labs, which provides connected vehicle services. Financial details weren’t disclosed. “The acquisition of Automatic is a natural fit for SiriusXM as we continue to expand and improve our connected vehicle services,” Meyer said. “Automatic’s innovative products have brought safety and intelligence data and analytics to the forefront of vehicle connectivity.”
Sirius and Stern have been looking at launching a video service. “Our focus [in 2017] is to get Howard correct,” Meyer said earlier this year, but signaled the company could do more video beyond that. “I don’t think we are ever going to be in the stand-alone video business,” he said. “We are trying to look for areas where video and that video experience very much complements what our subscribers are getting from SiriusXM, and in fact would make them more sticky and more appreciative of our service.”
Pandora has been surrounded by rumors that SiriusXM could look to buy the company, which with 100 million unique listeners each month is popular, but is losing money. SiriusXM CFO David Frear recently signaled that a deal was not likely and said “I have doubts” about Pandora’s strategy.
But John Malone’s Liberty Media, which controls SiriusXM, has at times signaled a deal could happen. Meyer recently said: “I speak to [Liberty CEO] Greg Maffei multiple times a week. … There is zero disagreement between Greg and myself on direction going forward on the asset.”
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