CEO Mel Karmazin took Sirius XM (SIRI) shares to a historic low Tuesday when he told investors subscriber growth would slow to a crawl in 2009. He said Sirius XM would end the year with 19.5 million subscribers, but that it would only add another 2 million, or about 10%, in 2009.
That’s slower growth than any previous year for either Sirius or XM as separate companies, and significantly lower than analyst estimates. Janco Partners’ April Horace, a longtime follower of the sector, predicted 23 million subscribers by the end of next year, compared to Karmazin’s 21.5 million.
On the bright side, Karmazin said he’s “taking cost out of the organisation every single day” and found another $25 million in savings, to boost total predicted post-merger savings to $425 million. But that’s irrelevant to the prospects of satellite radio, which seem dimmer than ever. SIRI shares fell nearly 10% to $1.14 on the NASDAQ.
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