XM Satellite Radio reported a 3Q loss of $84 million, or 32 cents, down from $132 million, or 60 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose 57 percent to $240.4 million. Wall Street analysts had expected a loss of 46 cents on sales of $253.3 million, according to Thomson Financial.
From the conference call: “It’s easy to forget how far we’ve come in five short years,” said CEO Hugh Panero, adding that this Sunday is the fifth anniversary of the nationwide launch. “The (business) model is in place and it’s increasingly being validated. …Now we have to generate positive cash from our customer base.”
Nate Davis, who recently came on as president, said the company’s priorities include marketing more effectively and improving customer service to reduce churn rates. The company also wants to introduce better products, he said. On that note, XM is a part of Cingular’s music service called Cingular Music that launches this week. Users will be able to stream as many as 25 radio stations for $8.99 a month. He added that the company is eager for similar deals in the MP3 space. “Apple isn’t the only player out there,” Davis said. The company continues to have discussions with unidentified Apple competitors.
From the AP: Craig Moffett, analyst, Sanford C. Bernstein: “With this stock, investors have been conditioned to expect another shoe to drop. … the fact that the quarter is relatively clean is a welcome relief.”
Conference Call | Transcript (SeekingAlpha.com)