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SiriusXM Upgraded by Evercore on Connected Car Opportunity

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Telematics, more commonly known as the connected car, could help satellite radio giant SiriusXM (SIRI - Get Report) reach $4.50 a share over the next 12-to-18 months, according to a new report from investment bank Evercore Partners.

Evercore, which upgraded SiriusXM shares to an "overweight" rating on Friday, said in a report that the company could reach 50% of a $30 billion market for telematics products by 2023, helping to propel new products and bring subscribers to its subscription satellite radio service. The Evercore analysts also said SiriusXM has been an early mover in bracing for connected cars, which could reach 250 million cars in the U.S. and 750 million cars internationally over the next decade or so.

SiriusXM already is making swift moves to prepare for a growing number of so-called connected cars that have 4G wireless connectivity and can tap a growing market for streaming and location-based media.

In August, SiriusXM bought Agero's telematics unit for $530 million in a deal that Evercore says has put it in telematics relationships with 40% of the car market. "This puts Sirius in a potential leadership position; ahead of Verizon Telematics and Sprint Velocity, which both have OEM relationships representing ~10% of US auto sales," Evercore said.

Were SiriusXM to keep its relationships intact, Evercore believes the company could generate $700 million in telematics revenue by 2018 and $3.1 billion in revenue by 2025. By 2025, telematics earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) could reach $1.1 billion, or nearly a third of the company's total EBITDA.

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The Evercore analysts expect that telematics could add 85 cents to SiriusXM shares, giving the company a valuation of $4.50 a share.

"As a telematics partner, Sirius might be able to develop advantages in its core radio business through two-way services and improved listener measurement, leading to a better product, growth in ad sales, and better programming decision making. Entering the international telematics field could lead to new infotainment business opportunities abroad," Evercore concluded.

SiriusXM shares were up over 1.5% to $3.55 in Friday afternoon trading.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

Follow @AntoineGara

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