Things never get dull for the country’s lone satellite-radio provider. Shares of Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) rode higher with the market in general, soaring 1.6% to close at $3.81. The media darling’s pop was in line with the Nasdaq’s equally impressive 1.7% gain on the week, as the company’s shares hit a five-year high.
There was more going on beyond the share-price gyrations, though. Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) announced its new CEO — and it wasn’t Mel Karmazin. There were more legal tangles for Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) related to music royalty payments. And Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) also made waves on the streaming front.
Let’s take a closer look.
Keep on moving
Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) traded as high as $3.88 on Wednesday and Thursday, establishing a new five-year high. The last time the satellite-radio operator was being exchanged at these levels was back in May 2008, when the stock hit $3.89. If Sirius XM manages to take out that level we would be back to 2007.
It’s not a surprise to see the satellite-radio star hitting new highs. It’s on top of the world in terms of subscribers, revenue, profitability, and cash flow. Auto sales were stellar last month, fueling the stage for healthy subscriber growth in the coming months.
The only fundamental setback is that the legal fisticuffs continue pertaining to whether Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) should be paying music royalties for songs recorded before 1972. That was when federal copyright protection kicked in on sound recordings. Several record labels and music organizations joined the fight this week.
The potential damages won’t necessarily break the bank at Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI). The real harm here is the potential hit to Sirius XM’s reputation for fans of oldies who thought their premium subscriptions and royalty fees were benefiting the artists they were listening to directly.
There’s a new CEO in town
The leading Internet radio provider finally ended its months-long CEO search, naming former aQuantive CEO Brian McAndrews as its new helmsman.
There had been plenty of speculation earlier this year that former Sirius XM Mel Karmazin would be up for the challenge, but Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) made the right call. It didn’t need an old-school radio guy. It doesn’t need programming. Techies handle that, so to speak.
Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P)’s challenge is milking more revenue out of online advertisers, and that’s where McAndrews — who grew aQuantive to the point where Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) acquired in a $6.6 billion deal — is the right choice.
Everyone’s making waves
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) kicked off the week by announcing that it will make Xbox Music available for iOS and Android devices. It had rolled out last its streaming platform late last year exclusively for PCs and other Microsoft products.
A day later, CC Media Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS:CCMO) announced that it will beef up its iHeartRadio Talk app with more talk programming. That bears watching. One of Sirius XM’s advantages over most of the streaming options is that they rely primarily on music. However, Clear Channel has connections with talk radio, and it’s making them easier to stream on the go and in connected cars.