XM Satellite (XMSR) and Sirius (SIRI), stymied by regulators for more than a year in their attempt to merge, are doing their best to press their case. XM’s latest move: Turn in yet another lousy quarter, which proves that it can’t survive as a standalone company. Oh yeah — and miss the Street’s low expectations along the way. Sirius turns in its own report card at the end of the day.
Revenue: $308 million, up 17% y/y (deceleration from Q4 07), misses $313 million consensu
EPS: Loss of $0.42 vs. – $0.39 consensus
Subscribers: 9.33 million, up 17% y/y (decelerating from Q3, Q4)
Businessweek details the series of handcuffs the FCC may slap on the company if it does allow the merger to go through: For instance, they’re thinking about forcing the merged company to open up a slice of its airwaves to non-profits or the like. But as ridiculous as the approval process has been, it’s hard to muster a ton of sympathy for the satellite guys, whose primary mode of competition to date has been money burning. A merger will help them, but it won’t save them.