Sirius XM Radio Inc (SIRI): What Happened?

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Things never get dull for the country’s lone satellite-radio provider. Shares of Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) moved marginally higher this week, closing 0.6% higher to hit $3.38. The general market moved even higher, and Sirius XM’s gain lagged the Nasdaq’s 1.7% pop.

Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI)

There was more going on beyond the share-price gyrations, though. Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) hit another five-year high. Short interest held steady during the latter half of April. And Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) had a notable trend reversal in its latest monthly metrics report, coming at a time when Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is getting closer to the launch of its own streaming service.

Let’s take a closer look.

Higher ground
Shares of Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) have been moving higher since posting well-received first-quarter results a week earlier. When the stock hit $3.42 on Wednesday, it was the highest the stock has traded at since March, 2008.

Since the merger between Sirius and XM wasn’t completed until later that summer, this is actually an all-time high for the combined company.

Short people
The only thing that could make a fresh multiyear high sweeter for Sirius XM bulls is knowing that the satellite-radio star remains the most heavily shorted stock by share volume. Fresh exchange data this week shows that there were 380.3 million shares of Sirius XM sold short as of the end of April.

Short interest in Sirius XM peaked at the end of February, when there were more than 414 million shares sold short, but there are still plenty of skeptics to shake out. Once again, Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) shorts are poorer on paper this week.

Turn up the iRadio
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has yet to officially announce its entry into the streaming market, where Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) and several others are trying to catch up to Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P). However, third-party reports continue to say Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will jump in sooner rather than later.

Sources are telling London’s Financial Times that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has struck a licensing deal with Universal Music. They also claim that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is completing negotiations with Warner Music Group (NYSE:WMG). A deal with Sony Music has been harder to come by, but Apple is unlikely to wait on a stingy Sony Music if it already has Universal aboard.

Will Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) aim for a premium on-demand Spotify model or a more accessible ad-based Pandora platform of music discovery? Who knows? This market’s about to get pretty crowded.

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