Sirius XM announced Wednesday (7/7) that their second-quarter subscriber additions have pushed their total subscriber base to over 19.5 million listeners. That represents a 1.1 million increase from last year, well above Wall Street predictions. The company subsequently raised its 2010 forecast for subscriber growth by nearly 50 percent, sending shares 6 percent higher. Sirius shares, which are up 67 percent this year, gained 6 cents to close at $1.
According to David Joyce, an analyst at Miller Tabak, much of that growth can be attributed to “continued strong auto sales.” Thanks in part to that automotive rebound, Sirius said it added 583,249 subscribers after losing 185,999 a year earlier. The Sirius figure marks a net add-on of 754,690 during the first half, an impressive turnaround from a net loss of 590,421 during the same period in 2009. Close to two-thirds of all new cars sold in the US are equipped with satellite radio. In the most recent quarter, Sirius said nearly 47 percent of new car owners opted to continue paying for subscriptions following an initial trial period. That’s up slightly from 44 percent a year earlier.
“The further improvement in our guidance reflects the attractiveness of satellite radio but maintains a cautious outlook for continued improvement in the economy,” explained Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin.