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SIRIUS reports Record Subscriber Growth and Revenue for Q405


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#1 of 2 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 17 2006 - 12:25 AM

SIRIUS reports Record Subscriber Growth and Revenue for Q405

Press Release Source: SIRIUS Satellite Radio

SIRIUS Satellite Radio Reports Record Subscriber Growth and Revenue for Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2005
Friday February 17, 7:00 am ET
- Subscribers Increased 190% to Over 3.3 Million at Year-End 2005
- Satellite Radio Market Share Leader For Fourth Quarter 2005
- 2005 Revenue Grew 262% to Over $242 Million
- More Than 6 Million Subscribers Expected by Year-End 2006
- Company Provides Additional 2006 Full-Year Guidance and 2010 Outlook

NEW YORK, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SIRIUS Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI - News) today announced record fourth quarter and full-year 2005 financial and operating results, driven by better-than-expected subscriber growth across its distribution channels.

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(Logo: http://www.newscom.c...9991118/NYTH125 )

SIRIUS ended 2005 with 3,316,560 subscribers, reflecting a 190% increase in total subscribers for the year and record net subscriber additions of 2,173,302. For the fourth quarter, the company added 1,142,640 net subscribers, making SIRIUS the market share leader in terms of net satellite radio subscriber additions for the quarter. This was the best quarterly gain in the company's history, and a 138% increase over net subscriber additions in the year-ago quarter. SIRIUS' market share of satellite radio net subscriber additions was approximately 45% for full-year 2005 and approximately 56% for the fourth quarter.

Full-year 2005 revenue grew to $242.2 million, up 262% from $66.9 million in 2004, and ahead of guidance for the year. Average monthly churn for the fourth quarter and full-year 2005 was 1.5%, in line with guidance. Subscriber acquisition costs (SAC) per gross subscriber addition was $113 for the fourth quarter and $139 for full-year 2005, a 21% improvement over the full-year 2004 level and ahead of guidance of under $145 for 2005.

"2005 was our best year ever and a major milestone for SIRIUS, setting new records in subscribers, market share and revenue," said Mel Karmazin, CEO of SIRIUS. "We continue to be the fastest growing U.S. provider in this exciting new entertainment category, with strong growth driven by tremendous demand for our products and our programming, including the NFL, Martha Stewart and Howard Stern. In 2006, we believe this positive momentum will be further reflected in our automotive OEM channel, where we expect to more than double our subscriber base."

During 2005, SIRIUS added 1,554,108 net subscribers from its retail channel, a 123% increase from 696,028 net retail subscriber additions in 2004. The company also added 620,224 net subscribers from its automotive OEM channel, more than 241% above net automotive OEM subscriber additions of 181,646 in 2004. For the fourth quarter, SIRIUS added 900,645 net subscribers from its retail channel and 241,705 net subscribers from its automotive OEM channel.

SIRIUS reported a net loss of ($311.4) million, or ($0.23) per share, for the fourth quarter of 2005, and a net loss of ($863.0) million, or ($0.65) per share, for the full-year.

2005 Achievements

During the year, SIRIUS achieved significant operational milestones including the following:

* Satellite radio market share parity in the retail channel -- retail
market share of 55% for the full-year and 61% for the fourth quarter,
according to The NPD Group

* Rapid acceleration in OEM subscriber additions, with further
acceleration expected in 2006

* Material reduction in SAC per gross subscriber addition, with further
improvements expected in 2006 and beyond

* Long-term exclusive agreements extended with SIRIUS' automotive OEM
partners DaimlerChrysler (Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz), Ford and BMW

* Exciting new programming exclusives with Martha Stewart, Richard
Simmons, the NBA, Adam Curry's Podcast Show, Howard Stern (January
2006) and NASCAR (2007)

* Introduced the critically acclaimed SIRIUS S50, the satellite radio
industry's first wearable device with MP3/WMA capabilities

* Launched SIRIUS Music on the Sprint wireless network, a satellite radio
industry first

* Launched satellite radio service in Canada through SIRIUS' Canadian
affiliate, SIRIUS Canada Inc.

* Enhanced balance sheet and liquidity through a successful $500 million
debt offering

* Key senior management additions in marketing, advertising sales,
retail, business development and investor relations areas

Guidance

SIRIUS believes that the satellite radio industry will continue to experience strong growth in 2006, and the company expects to have over 6 million subscribers by the end of this year.

Average monthly churn is expected to be approximately 1.8% for 2006. The company expects SAC per gross subscriber addition to approach $110 for the full-year 2006 and to decline further in 2007.

SIRIUS expects to generate approximately $600 million of total revenue in 2006, and approximately $1 billion in 2007. SIRIUS expects an adjusted loss from operations of approximately $540 million in 2006.

SIRIUS ended the fourth quarter of 2005 with approximately $879 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. SIRIUS' first quarter of positive free cash flow, after capital expenditures, could be reached as early as the fourth quarter of 2006, and the company continues to expect to generate positive free cash flow for the full-year 2007.

The company expects capital expenditures to be approximately $110 million in 2006, which includes investments for new revenue generating opportunities such as telematics, video and other data services, as well as network infrastructure expansion, including payments related to the previously disclosed contract to secure a slot for a possible satellite launch prior to year-end 2010.

SIRIUS also believes that in 2010 the company will generate approximately $3 billion in revenue and approximately $1 billion in free cash flow, after capital expenditures.

Conference Call Information:

SIRIUS will hold a conference call today at 8 am ET to discuss operating and financial results. The public, members of the investment community and the press will have live access to the conference call via the company's website, http://www.sirius.com, and on the SIRIUS service by tuning to SIRIUS Channel 125. A replay of the call will also be available on the SIRIUS website.

FOURTH QUARTER 2005 VERSUS FOURTH QUARTER 2004

For the fourth quarter of 2005, SIRIUS recognized total revenue of $80.0 million compared with $25.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2004. This increase in revenue was driven by a net increase of 2,173,302 subscribers from December 31, 2004 to December 31, 2005.

The company's adjusted loss from operations increased by $71.1 million to ($226.3) million for the fourth quarter of 2005 from ($155.2) million for the fourth quarter of 2004 (refer to the reconciliation table of GAAP loss from operations to adjusted loss from operations). This increase was driven by a 124%, or $80.2 million, increase in subscriber acquisition costs reflecting higher shipments of SIRIUS radios and chip sets and increased commissions to support a 143% increase in gross subscriber additions from 521,479 for the fourth quarter of 2004 to 1,266,674 for the fourth quarter of 2005, offset by reductions in hardware subsidy rates as the company continued to reduce manufacturing and chip set costs. The increase in subscriber acquisition costs was offset by a 199%, or $45.1 million, increase in subscriber revenue as a result of a 190% increase in the company's subscriber base.

Programming and content expenses increased by $9.2 million to $35.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2005 from $25.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2004. The increase was primarily attributable to license fees associated with new content agreements, broadcast royalties as a result of the increase in the company's subscriber base and compensation related costs for expansion of the programming lineup.

Customer service and billing expenses increased by $11.4 million to $20.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2005 from $8.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2004. The increase was primarily attributable to call center operating costs necessary to accommodate the increase in the subscriber base. Customer service and billing expenses per average subscriber per month declined 25% to $2.66 for the fourth quarter of 2005 from $3.56 for the fourth quarter of 2004.

Sales and marketing expenses increased by $12.2 million to $63.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2005 from $50.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2004. The increase was primarily attributable to higher costs associated with advertising, distribution and revenue share.

During the fourth quarter of 2005, the company also had increases in general and administrative expenses and engineering, design and development expenses. General and administrative expenses increased $3.9 million to $16.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2005 from $13.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2004 primarily as a result of overhead expansion to support the growth of the business. Engineering, design and development expenses increased $3.1 million to $11.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2005 from $8.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2004 primarily as a result of development costs for the company's next generation of products, offset by decreases in costs associated with OEM tooling and manufacturing upgrades.

For the fourth quarter of 2005, the company recorded $6.2 million for its share of SIRIUS Canada Inc.'s net loss.

SIRIUS reported a net loss of ($311.4) million, or ($0.23) per share, for the fourth quarter of 2005 compared with a net loss of ($261.9) million, or ($0.21) per share, for the fourth quarter of 2004.

YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2005 VERSUS YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2004

For the year ended December 31, 2005, SIRIUS recognized total revenue of $242.2 million compared with $66.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2004. This increase in revenue was driven by a net increase of 2,173,302 subscribers from December 31, 2004 to December 31, 2005.

The company's adjusted loss from operations increased by $111.3 million to ($567.5) million for the year ended December 31, 2005 from ($456.2) million for the year ended December 31, 2004 (refer to the reconciliation table of GAAP loss from operations to adjusted loss from operations). This increase was driven by a 101%, or $175.9 million, increase in subscriber acquisition costs reflecting higher shipments of SIRIUS radios and chip sets and increased commissions to support a 155% increase in gross subscriber additions from 986,556 for the year ended December 31, 2004 to 2,519,301 for the year ended December 31, 2005, offset by reductions in average subsidy rates as the company continued to reduce manufacturing and chip set costs. The increase in subscriber acquisition costs was offset by a 256%, or $160.7 million, increase in subscriber revenue as a result of a 190% increase in the company's subscriber base.

Programming and content expenses increased by $35.2 million to $98.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2005 from $63.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2004. The increase was primarily attributable to license fees associated with new content agreements, broadcast royalties as a result of the increase in the company's subscriber base and compensation related costs for expansion of the programming lineup.

Customer service and billing expenses increased by $24.3 million to $46.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2005 from $22.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2004. The increase was primarily attributable to call center operating costs necessary to accommodate the increase in the subscriber base. Customer care and billing expenses per average subscriber per month declined 41% to $2.10 for the year ended December 31, 2005 from $3.56 for the year ended December 31, 2004.

Sales and marketing expenses increased by $16.1 million to $170.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2005 from $154.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2004. The increase was primarily attributable to higher costs associated with advertising, distribution, residuals and revenue share. Such increases were offset in part by decreases in certain retail costs associated with sales efforts for the RadioShack rollout in 2004. Compensation related costs also increased as a result of additions to headcount to support the growth of the company.

During the year ended December 31, 2005, the company also had increases in general and administrative expenses and engineering, design and development expenses. General and administrative expenses increased $15.8 million to $59.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2005 from $44.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2004 primarily as a result of overhead expansion to support the growth of the business. Engineering, design and development expenses increased $14.2 million to $44.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2005 from $30.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2004 primarily as a result of additional personnel-related costs to support research and development efforts, costs associated with OEM tooling and manufacturing upgrades and development costs for the company's next generation of radios. Increases in engineering, design and development expenses were offset by lower chip set development costs.

Increases in operating expenses were offset by a decrease in satellite and transmission expenses of $3.3 million to $27.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2005 from $31.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2004. Such decrease was primarily a result of the company's decision not to renew its satellite insurance policy in August 2004, offset in part by an increase in personnel-related costs.

For the year ended December 31, 2005, the company recorded $6.9 million for its share of SIRIUS Canada Inc.'s net loss. In addition, the company recorded a $6.2 million loss from the redemption of its 15% Senior Secured Discount Notes due 2007 and 14 1/2% Senior Secured Notes due 2009.

SIRIUS reported a net loss of ($863.0) million, or ($0.65) per share, for the year ended December 31, 2005 compared with a net loss of ($712.2) million, or ($0.57) per share, for the year ended December 31, 2004.

(Selected financial information follows).

SIRIUS defines average monthly churn as the number of deactivated subscribers divided by average quarterly subscribers.

SIRIUS defines subscriber acquisition costs, or SAC, per gross subscriber addition as SAC and margins from the direct sale of SIRIUS radios and accessories divided by the number of gross subscriber additions for the period.

SIRIUS defines average monthly revenue per subscriber, or ARPU, as the total earned subscriber revenue and net advertising revenue divided by the daily weighted average number of subscribers for the period.

SIRIUS defines adjusted loss from operations as GAAP loss from operations before depreciation and equity granted to third parties and employees. SIRIUS believes adjusted loss from operations is useful because it represents operating expenses of the company excluding the effects of non-cash items.

Average monthly churn, SAC per gross subscriber addition, ARPU and adjusted loss from operations are not measures of financial performance under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles and are used by SIRIUS as measures of operating performance. As a result, these metrics may be susceptible to varying calculations; may not be comparable to other similarly titled measures of other companies; and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 2 OFFLINE   Chris

Chris

    Lead Actor



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Posted February 17 2006 - 01:22 AM

SIRI's announcement was neither good nor bad.

They had a large number of new subscribers - good, and a rapid % growth compared to the market, as well as beating expectations.

On the other hand, they missed their debt target so that's bad.

SIRI did manage to announce FoxNews, which they apparently took a hard line with Fox, and by reports, managed to get them to come down in their projected fees.


MoneyCentral - FOX SIRI Link

SIRI announced other new content and plans, one which offers a "to-market" buy scheme, allowing end users to "buy" music they are listening to with a "Buy Button" creating another revenue stream, as well as helping to end any cloud over their head in regards to RIAA complaints against XM/SIRI. I would look for XM to come up with something similar.

But it's not all positive. Where XM missed on both ends (lower subscribers then expected, more debt). SIRI still didn't succeed in both (more debt then expected, though greater # of new subscribers then expected). So, it will be interesting to see how the market takes it.

SIRI's most "under the radar" anouncement didn't hit me until I read it elsewhere: SIRI had a more then 500% increase in advertising revenue from 2004 to 2005 (splits off of NFL, etc.) but this year, just through January, SIRI's advertising revenue is already greater then the entire year last year.

That's a monumental shift, which is a good sign for their Q1 results later.
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