Last week Mel Karmazin watched shares in Sirius XM Satellite Radio plummet 40% to sub $1-land. Why? The CEO gave a bearish view on 2009 subscriber growth. And he didn’t exactly reassure anyone when he joked about lending the company his own company money when $300 million in convertible debt comes due in February.
In retrospect, he tells the WSJ, that probably wasn’t the best thing to say:
“I wish I didn’t say it,” he said. “I tend to be candid. I said something off-handed. I wish it was as simple as that.” Ultimately, he says there has been “a tremendous overselling of the stock” and that his company “is heading toward making a bunch of money in the future.”
He’d also love to take Sirius XM private. Also, he’d like a pony.
“How do you find [the money] today?” If the company were generating positive cash flow, which he expects it to do for the full year in 2009, privatization would become much more feasible, he says.
And by the way: How many times do you think Howard Stern has rethought his move from CBS?
Talk-show host Howard Stern’s five-year, $500 million pay package, announced in 2004, included 34.4 million shares payable to him and his agent, Don Buchwald. Then, the shares were worth about $110 million; by the time he joined the company in 2006, they were worth more than $220 million because of the stock’s sharp rise. Today, those shares would be worth $32.6 million.
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