Wednesday, December 29, 2004

SIRI downgraded at Banc of America

Although Sirius has signed eye-grabbing deals with radio shock jock Howard Stern and the National Football League since October, the company isn't expected to be profitable any time soon.
 XM, its chief rival, is also being berated by the street's best analysts. XM has agreements with several automakers to include its service in new vehicles and has signed its own programming deal with the MBA. Nevertheless, investors continue to bid the stocks up this year, with XM up about 50 percent and Sirius shares nearly tripling. Tuesday morning,Banc of America analyst Jonathan Jacoby said  "too much hype and expectation" surrounding Sirius's signing of Stern, who reaches an audience of several million listeners daily with his show.
Jacoby reiterated his "sell" rating on Sirius and advised clients to buy shares of XM. Whereas SIRI's market cap is higher than XM's, most pundits prefer the latter. Thomson First Call expect Sirius to lose 52 cents a share this year even as they triple sales. XM is expected to lose a whopping $3.11 a share in 2004.People, it seems, are forgetting that SIRI has seasoned media vet Mel Karmazin at the helm--they recently grabbed him form Viacom and after looking at the number of stock options he's been given, there is no dobt in my mind that the Board expects a rosy future. The Streets sexiest rivalry is to be continued...

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