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Sirius Gets Revenue Beat on Subscriber Growth

Tickers in this article: SIRI

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Sirius XM(SIRI) beat Wall Street's revenue estimate in the first quarter, boosted by strong subscriber growth.

The satellite radio giant brought in revenue of $805 million, up from $724 million in the prior year's quarter, and above analysts' estimates of $803.83.

Howard Stern

Excluding items, Sirius earned 2 cents a share, compared to a penny a share in the same period last year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting earnings of 2 cents.

Sirius, which has shock jock Howard Stern as its highest-profile employee, also reiterated its 2012 revenue guidance on Tuesday, predicting sales of $3.3 billion. Analysts are looking for revenue of $3.359 billion.

"Sirius XM is starting the year with tremendous operational momentum," said Mel Karmazin, the Sirius CEO, in a statement released before market open. "We grew subscribers faster than any first quarter since our 2008 merger of Sirius and XM, and we improved our self-pay monthly churn rate to 1.9% despite implementing a price increase at the beginning of the year."

"Rising auto sales and our strong execution should enable us to exceed our prior 2012 subscriber growth guidance of 1.3 million, which today we are raising to 1.5 million," added Karmazin.

Sirius, which announced the first price hike in its history earlier this year, generated free cash flow of $15 million during the quarter, compared to negative free cash flow of $17 million in the same period last year. During the fourth quarter, Sirius' free cash flow was $192 million.

There has already been speculation that Sirius might return some of its haul to investors.

Sirius' first-quarter net subscriber additions came in at 299,348, and the company's subscriber base rose to an all-time high of 22.3 million subscribers.

Shares of Sirius were up 3 cents, or 1.55%, to $2.29 before market open on Tuesday.

TheStreet is live-blogging the Sirius earnings announcement and the company's conference call, which starts at 8 a.m. EDT.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers.

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