Sirius Shows Continued Strength

Although XM may be moving faster towards profitability, Sirius is quickly catching up to its bigger rival in terms of subscribers. In separate earnings releases, the two satellite radio companies showed improving financials, and both said they could attain positive cash flow in the fourth quarter.

Sirius increased revenue by 150 percent to $167 million, although posted a $162.9 million loss for the quarter. That was down from $180.4 million in the year ago quarter. XM posted revenue of $240 million, up 57 percent while posting a loss of $84 million, down 36 percent from a year ago.

In terms of subscribers, Sirius ended with 5,119,308 subscribers, 135 percent increase year over year. XM said it had 7,185,873 subscribers, up 43 percent year over year. This margin will likely shrink in the fourth quarter, with Sirius expecting to end the year with 6.3 million subscribers, compared to 7.7 to 7.9 million for XM.

"Sirius has never been in a stronger position heading into the key fourth quarter holiday season, with exciting new products, compelling programming, and strong relationships with our retail and exclusive OEM partners," boasted CEO Mel Karmazin.

And indeed it hasn't: over the last year Sirius has increased its share of new satellite customers by a stunning 24 percentage points -- a jump many would credit to the company's aggressive push for programming and talent.

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