SiriusXM Adds 132,000 Satellite Radio, 246,000 Pandora Subscribers

Jim Meyer - Getty - H 2018
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

The audio entertainment giant and home of Howard Stern posts its first-quarter results after it recently closed the acquisition of music streaming service Pandora.

Audio entertainment giant SiriusXM, home of Howard Stern, on Wednesday reported lower first-quarter earnings, but subscriber gains for its satellite radio unit and Pandora music streaming service.

SiriusXM added a net of 132,000 subscribers in the latest quarter, ending March with more than 34.2 million subscribers, including 29.1 million self-pay subscribers.

SiriusXM at the start of February closed the acquisition of Pandora, the music streaming service, in an all-stock deal valued at about $3.5 billion, creating the world's largest audio entertainment company. Pandora added 246,000 net new self-pay subscribers in the first quarter to end it with nearly 6.2 million self-pay subscribers. Total Pandora subscribers reached 6.9 million at the end of the period.

SiriusXM's evolving video strategy has also been a focus for management, with CEO Jim Meyer recently saying that Stern will expand his video offerings, while the company will start offering video content "beyond Howard" later this year. He explained that new video offerings would "showcase the best of what we do at SiriusXM," including performances, town halls and guests coming into the studio. The expanded video content will be "another way to give additional access and value" to subscribers, he explained.

SiriusXM, controlled by John Malone's Liberty Media, reported first-quarter earnings of $162 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with a profit of $289 million, or 6 cents per share, in the year-ago period. The latest figure included acquisition and other charges of $76 million.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, another profitability metric, increased 27 percent to $567 million when assuming the Pandora deal had been in place for both the latest and the year-ago quarter. Quarterly revenue on that basis rose 10 percent to $1.9 billion. 

Meyer on Wednesday’s earnings conference call said that the company would end 2019 with annual cost savings of $75 million or more from the Pandora integration, up from previous guidance of $50 million. "I love the acquisition of Pandora," he said. "I particularly love all the options it gives us."