SiriusXM Loses Fourth Quarter With Pandora Charge of $ 976; Revenue up 6% – Deadline

SiriusXM fell to a net loss of $ 677 million last quarter from a profit of $ 243 million the year before on a one-time, non-cash charge of $ 976 million at Pandora. The expected success was based on Pandora’s royalty cost structure.

Quarterly revenue rose 6% to $ 2.19 billion, beating Wall Street expectations. Shares rose 1.4% early in the session.

New CEO Jennifer Witz, who replaced longtime CEO Jim Meyer earlier this month, said SiriusXM, Pandora, Stitcher and SoundCloud are now reaching audiences of over 150 million people. The fourth quarter was key as the company agreed with star host Howard Stern to extend his contract and also closed the purchase of Stitcher, planting a flag in podcasting.

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The company, controlled by John Malone’s Liberty Media, added 279,000 satellite radio subscribers during the last quarter. He lost 63,000 submarines to Pandora – fewer than the year before.

For the full year, SiriusXM added 909,000 net of new self-paying subscriptions at the end of 2020 with nearly 30.9 million. The monthly standalone payment churn rate for the full year was 1.7%, an improvement of 7 basis points from 2019 and marking the fourth consecutive year of improvement in the standalone payment churn rate.

The total number of SiriusXM subscribers was 34.7 million at the end of 2020, down approximately 1% from 34.9 million at the end of 2019. The number of paid promotional subscribers declined in due to lower auto sales

At Pandora, Monthly Active Users (MAUs) ended 2020 at 58.9 million, up from 63.5 million at the end of 2019. The total audience hours supported by advertising was 12.50 billion in 2020, against 13.4 billion. The net auto-pay additions were 133,000.

SiriusXM allocated $ 1.57 billion for share buybacks and $ 237 million for dividends – which were increased by 10% in November. During the fourth quarter, the company stepped up the pace of common share repurchases to $ 680 million. CEO Sean Sullivan, who joined SiriusXM from AMC Networks last fall, said the company has “huge amounts of cash to keep investing in the business and returning capital to shareholders.”

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