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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sirius Is Still A Dog (SIRI)(XMSR)(AAPL)(INTC)(S)

The market seemed pleasantly surprised by the Sirius quarterly report. But, it is now clear that it will be almost impossible for the company to hit its year-end subscriber targets.

Sirius has 5.1 million subscribers after adding 441,000 in the third quarter. The company's year-end goal is 6.2 million.

Sirius rival XM Satellite Radio has already dropped its year-end subscriber forecast and added only added only 286,000 new subsribers in Q3.

But, the signal out of Wall St. is still that theses companies are in trouble, saddled by huge debts of over $1 billion each, continued losses and slowing growth in their subscriber bases.

Sirius now trades at $4.12, down from its 52-week high of $7.98 and its all-time high of almost $70. The numbers speak volumes. If Q3 was a good quarter, why has the stock barely moved in the last four months of trading.

There a hundred reasons that satellite radio will not do well in the future. High definition radio makes the sound quality of tradion radio signals much better. Multimedia players like the iPod now have adapter for use in the car. In theory, a large WiMax network like the one that Sprint is building with Intel and Motorola could push music to WiMax-enable cars. With Cingular's new technology, car phones will be able to play music.

The problems is that there are now too many argument against the success of satellite radio. Only one of the alternates has to work to put a large dent in the Sirius model.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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