Sirius XM Growth Hits The Wall

Sirius XM (SIRI) is already 0-for-1 hitting its growth targets, which CEO Mel Karmazin announced just late last year.

Last November, after the economy and auto industry started to unravel, Karmazin unveiled the satellite radio company’s long-term growth forecast. Part of that was getting to 19.1 million subscribers by the end of 2008.

That meant that in the last three months of the year — one of which had already passed by the time Sirius XM published its plans — it would need to sign up about 180,000 net new subscribers. (It started the quarter with 18.92 million subs.)

It didn’t even get half that many. Sirius XM signed up only 82,945 net subscribers during Q4, finishing the year with 19.0 million subs, about 100,000 short of its goal.

Makes you wonder if it’ll still be able to sign up 1.6 million subscribers this year, about the same amount as it signed up during 2008 (pro-forma). Or another 1.5 million in 2010.

On the plus side, Sirius XM posted a lower Q4 loss and beat Wall Street’s revenue expectations.

Sirius lost $248.5 million on $644 million of Q4 sales, better than the $405 million (pro-forma) loss on $558 million of sales during Q4 ’07. The Street had expected Sirius to report $616 million in Q4 sales, so it beat by about $28 million, or about 4%.

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