As a potential merger with competitor XM looms, Sirius Satellite Radio significantly boosted revenue and slashed its net loss in the first quarter, but had some static in its subscriber growth, particularly at the retail channel.
No. 2 satcaster posted a net loss of $144.7 million. While still substantial, that’s down 68% from the same quarter a year ago. Revenue was up 61% at $204 million.
Total subscriber additions were down 27%. While the comparison is tough, since superstar Howard Stern had just joined Sirius last year, Sirius is undoubtedly concerned by a 64% plunge in its net sub adds at retailers to 192,978. Business was much better with partners like auto manufacturers, who contributed 364,674 subscribers to Sirius, up 62%.
Total number of subscribers is now 6.6 million.
XM added only 285,000 new subs last quarter, but is still substantially ahead of Sirius, with 7.9 million.
Sirius’ monthly churn, the percentage of subscribers who leave, was up from 1.8% last year to 2.3%.
Cost to add each new subscriber was down a bit, however, from $113 to $104.
Company released new guidance calling for more than 8 million subs by Dec. 31 and nearly $1 billion in revenue for the full year.
Shares in Sirius closed down 2% at $2.90 Tuesday after earnings were announced.