Shares of Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) are on the upswing these days. The satellite radio provider's stock has moved higher for four consecutive trading days, closing out last week within $0.05 of the highs it hit back in March. If it gets there, you will have to go all the way back to the springtime of 2006 to find the last time the stock was trading higher.
Momentum has been in the media giant's corner since striking a deal last month to acquire a piece of streaming music pioneer Pandora (NYSE: P). Sirius XM was reportedly in talks to buy all of Pandora last summer, but waiting a year afforded it the opportunity to pay a lot less for an influential stake in Pandora.
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Sirius XM has also made its own luck. It has posted 30 consecutive quarters of adjusted earnings, and it's been able to grow its subscriber count sequentially in all but one quarter in that time. Sirius XM has been one of the market's biggest winners since bottoming out at $0.05 in 2009 -- nearly a 110-bagger in that time.
Satellite of love
Sirius XM was a much different company with a much smaller market cap back in April 2006 when the share price was trading near current levels. Sirius XM's market cap would go on to double when it completed its merger with XM -- it was merely Sirius Satellite Radio before that -- in 2008. Its share count would go on to expand by 60% a year later when it had to offer a 40% preferred share stake to Liberty Media (NASDAQ: LSXMA) for the financing it needed to avoid it from filing for bankruptcy reorganization. Within a matter of months between the summer of 2008 and the springtime of 2009, its share count more than quadrupled.
Don't let the higher share count scare you, and not just because Sirius XM has become a share buyback machine with the healthy cash flow that it's generating these days. Sirius Satellite Radio had just 4 million subscribers in the springtime of 2006. Sirius XM is now profitably servicing 31.6 million subscribers.
The marketplace has evolved. Sirius or XM receivers are becoming standard equipment in more new cars. A subscription to satellite radio costs more now, and folks aren't flinching at the value proposition. The "connected car" that was supposed to doom premium satellite radio as folks turn to cheaper smartphone apps streamed through their dashboard controls hasn't killed growth. Sirius XM is approaching an 11-year high -- and in terms of enterprise value, an all-time high -- and it has earned the milestone.
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