Sirius XM Investors: Stop Chasing the Carrot and Buy Pandora
So far the one that is working appears to be that of Pandora. Why would anyone in their right mind want to pay for premium radio when there are free alternatives out there -- particularly one that continues to trend successfully?
What continues to be disappointing is that these investors are steadfast on the hamster wheel and expecting that one day the company's fortunes will make a turn for the better. But they are holding firm to these hopes and dreams as Wall Street is making it known that it has other ideas -- most of which are firmly implanted in the IP format.
What continues to hurt Sirius is the fact that the company has to pay a subsidy to the auto makers just for the chance to acquire a subscriber. This is a significant impediment on the company's long-term ability to return value to shareholders -- at least organically. And the fact that this investment continues to yields disappointing returns as evident by the annual cancellations and its 44% conversion rate is quite unimpressive to say the least.
There is no other successful model that operates this way and lives to talk about it.
The company understands that it is spending too much money and not growing enough to justify its capex. I have always considered this to be the reason why it focuses more on its free-cash-flow and less on its earnings growth -- or the metric that should really matter to investors.
Interestingly, this is a metric that Pandora has shown to care about considerably. On the other hand, Sirius investors were once quick to point out that Pandora would never make any money. Bottom Line
There is no doubt that Sirius as it currently stands has a very limited window of success. Its saving grace would be to be taken over by Liberty Media(LMCA) -- a company that has the expertise and the track record to make it a success.
The question is, what will this all mean for current Sirius shareholders? Right now the situation remains too blurry to say with any degree of certainty how things will unfold. However, one thing that I know for certain is that Liberty will find every opportunity to exploit the hamster wheel and the carrot that drives this constant insanity . . . excuse me, stupidity.