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Some Sirius Humble Pie

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I'm going to cut through the chase -- I was wrong on Sirius XM's (SIRI) expectations for the quarter.

For as much as I have beaten the company up since its fourth-quarter earnings report, I think Sirius deserves a considerable amount of credit for what it has demonstrated over the past three months -- particularly in face of rising household budgets due to an increase in the fuel costs. I have always maintained that Sirius XM shares a lot of similarities with another subscription service in Netflix (NFLX) -- one that recently announced not only a decline in subscribers but went on to suggest that subscriber growth was no longer its focus.

However, what Sirius apparently does not share with Netflix is its ability to execute in the face of rising competition from Pandora (P) and other IP delivery platforms. The company also demonstrates that, in addition to prevailing and overcoming pessimism from the likes of me, it has proven that its business model is just good enough to navigate through macro-economic issues. But does that now make it a good investment?

The Recent Quarter

The period ending in March, the company reported revenue of $805 million -- representing an increase of almost 0.2% above the $803.83 million it reported in the same period of a year ago.

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Remarkably, this was the fourth consecutive quarter in which the company has demonstrated an increase in revenue. Net income was $107.7 million, or 2 cents a share, compared with $78.1 million, or 1 cent a share, a year ago.

So for as much as I have criticized its business model, I think it is more than fair for me to point out that in many respects, its business is indeed working.

What is also worth pointing out is that as much as its "modest" price increase raised concerns, it seems it was precisely that that helped lifted the company's higher-than-expected profit. Even more impressive was the fact that the company grew subscribers by over 404,000 for the quarter. Although it was 4% below my "success target" of 420,000, it did top analyst expectations of 400,000.

Sirius ended the quarter with 22.3 million subscribers and I think the company certainly did enough to avert any notions that subscribers were going to churn out in a mass exodus. As far as guidance is concerned, the company now expects a net increase in subscribers of 1.5 million.

Stock quotes in this article: SIRI, NFLX, LMCA 

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