Earnings: Subscriber Losses At Sirius Cancel Impact Of Costs Cuts; EPS Flat

imageIts debt challenges have been side-stepped for now, but Sirius XM (NSDQ: SIRI) Satellite Radio has other issues to worry about. The company’s pro forma revenue grew 5 percent to $605.5 million in the first quarter, below consensus estimates of $647 million, and its loss per share was $0.07, also below analyst forecasts of a loss of $0.02. The company was able to cut costs significantly during the quarter, but most of those gains were offset by a drop in subscribers. Sirius said further cost cuts would enable it to earn about $350 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) versus its previous expectations of $300 million, but it did not say if that would come from further cost cuts or subscriber additions.

Sirius lost 404,422 net subscribers versus a gain of 625,909 during the first quarter of 2008.
–Average revenue-per-user decreased to $10.43 from $10.48, indicating further discounts to seduce new subscribers and keep existing ones.
–Subscriber acquisition costs (primarily advertising, marketing and subsidies) decreased 26 percent to $61.
–Other expense reductions: satellite and transmission costs were down 23 percent; programming was 10 percent lower; and sales and marketing decreased 35 percent.