(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —
Sirius Satellite Radio released strong third quarter financial and operating results, driven by subscriber growth in its retail and automotive OEM distribution channels, and continued demand for its superior programming. As of September 30, Sirius had 2,173,920 subscribers. The third quarter subscriber figure reflects net additions of 359,294 subscribers, a 97% increase over the year-ago figure of 181,948 net subscriber additions.
The company raised its year-end 2005 subscriber guidance to over 3 million and reaffirmed its previous guidance on all other key metrics. Sirius expects its subscriber growth will be driven by traditionally strong consumer demand in the fourth quarter, and by Sirius' exclusive programming as well as the continued appeal of its commercial-free music.
"The third quarter represented another quarter of solid execution by our management team," said Mel Karmazin, CEO of SIRIUS. "We continued to gain retail and overall market share in the quarter, while meeting our guidance for third quarter net subscriber additions. As we move into the important fourth quarter, we believe that our mix of innovative and competitively-priced products at retail, combined with more SIRIUS factory installations by our automotive partners, will yield strong year-end results, and we are raising our subscriber guidance to over 3 million to reflect this expectation. The introduction of Martha Stewart Living Radio and the anticipation of Howard Stern's arrival in January 2006 should also generate unprecedented excitement for our service."
Sirius reported revenue of $66.8 million for the third quarter of 2005, a 250% increase over the $19.1 million reported for the year-ago quarter. Average monthly churn for the third quarter and year to date was 1.8% and 1.5%, respectively. Average monthly churn is expected to be approximately 1.5% for the full year.
The company reported subscriber acquisition costs (SAC) per gross subscriber addition of $149 for the third quarter of 2005, a 35% improvement over SAC per gross subscriber addition of $229 in the year-ago quarter. Sirius continues to project SAC per gross subscriber addition of under $145 for the year.
During the third quarter of 2005, Sirius added 209,920 net subscribers from its retail channel, a 56% increase over 134,442 retail net subscriber additions in the year-ago quarter. The company also added 149,000 net subscribers from its automotive OEM channel, a 230% increase over 45,196 net subscriber additions from that channel in the third quarter of 2004.
Sirius reported a net loss of ($180.4) million, or ($0.14) per share, for the third quarter of 2005 compared with a net loss of ($169.4) million, or ($0.14) per share, for the third quarter of 2004. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner