SiriusXM Quarterly Earnings Rise, Beats Estimates

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The satellite radio firm, led by CEO Jim Meyer, added 310,000 new self-pay subscribers, lifting its stock in pre-market trading.

SiriusXM Holdings on Thursday saw third quarter earnings jump as the satellite radio firm posted a record 32.2 million total subscribers.

The company, home of Howard Stern, saw earnings rise 42 percent to $276 million, against a year-earlier $194 million, on higher subscriber and advertising revenue. Overall revenue was $1.38 billion, against a year-earlier $1.27 billion, which beat an analysts' estimate by $10 million.

The per-share earnings of 6 cents exceeded by 2 cents an analysts' forecast for the quarter at 4 cents. That earnings beat helped send stock in SiriusXM up 14 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $5.86 in pre-market trading on the NASDAQ Exchange. 

The satellite radio giant during the latest quarter completed a deal with Pandora to make a $480 million strategic cash investment in the personalized online radio service. SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer told analysts during a morning call that it was too early to weigh possible synergies between his company and Pandora.

"It's an investment. We are taking our time evaluating that," Meyer explained. Top executives gave no update on a long-delayed Howard Stern video service in the works from SiriusXM, but did touch on Ricky Gervais' launching a new show exclusively on the platform, Ricky Gervais Is Deadly Sirius.

"The show will be just as unconventional as Ricky," Meyer told analysts. During the latest quarter, SiriusXM added 311,000 new self-pay subscribers, ending with 26.98 million subscribers in that category and 32.2 million paid subscribers overall, up 4 percent from the same period last year.

Total net subscriber additions in the third quarter were 119,000, down from 345,000 net additions during the year-earlier period, owing to 191,000 fewer paid promotional subscribers.

"SiriusXM delivered a very strong third quarter despite headwinds from slowing auto sales and the impact of severe weather in many part of the United States," Meyer earlier said in a statement.

John Malone's Liberty Media controls SiriusXM.

Oct. 25, 9:00 a.m.: Updated with comments by senior SiriusXM executives on an analyst call to explain their latest financial results.