Will Sirius Give Up Its Freedom to Liberty?
Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) chief executive Mel Karmazin will do whatever he can to ward off largest shareholder Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA) from taking control of the satellite-radio. “I want to be held accountable,” Karmazin said at the annual shareholder meeting. “I don’t want to be responsible for somebody else making a decision.”
Liberty Media had tried to take control of the radio in March with its 40 percent stake, but Sirius appealed to the Federal Communications Commission, which rejected the former’s application. Liberty has now increased its position to 46.2 percent and said it plans to reapply in the next few weeks.
While the meeting did not present a lot of new data, it did offer some insight into the company’s current position. The radio is expecting double digit revenue growth this year and is maintaining its current quarter guidance. The subscriber base for the company is now at 13 percent of households in the United States. The company is also expecting its sales through radio-equipped cars to go up from 14 million in 2012 to 16.6 million in 2016.
Karmazin added that the company’s revenue had risen every year through the financial crisis to an estimated $3.3 billion this year. He acknowledged that there was room for improvement for its stock, which closed a shade under $2 on Tuesday. “Our stock sucks,” he said, but added that it had still done extremely well against other companies listed on Nasdaq since 2009.
Questions have also been raised about Karmazin’s plans to sell 60 million shares, or nearly half his position. “Sirius is the only stock I own,” he said.
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