NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I've been highly critical of Sirius XM's (SIRI) management for the past several years. While the company has installed new leadership that brought about new optimism, it's become apparent that this story hasn't changed all that much, if at all.
Although Sirius stock has certainly done well over the past 18 months, during that span much of the gains have been the result of the company aggressively buying back its own stock, worth an estimated $2 billion. When you add the activity related to Liberty Media (LMCA), which spent all of 2012 working its way up to majority ownership, it's hard to find anything impressive about Sirius' organic growth.
Ralph Nader, however, sees it another way. The longtime consumer advocate, a Sirius XM shareholder, believes these shares should be trading higher. He calls Sirius "a fast-growing company with bright indicators."
This explains why he has come out fighting against John Malone, chairman of Liberty Media.
Last Friday, after Sirius stock closed at $3.57, investors received news of Malone's $3.68-per-share bid to buy the remaining portion of Sirius that Liberty does not already own. At the time, this represented a feeble 3.1% premium to Sirius' closing price of $3.57, or 12% below Sirius' 52-week high of $4.18 achieved two months prior.Not to get too deep into the complexities of the bid, which has a million moving parts, Nader wasted no time calling the offer "ludicrous" and reaching out to activist investor Carl Icahn for help. In a Wall Street Journal article, Nader said: "I am sure that I along with other shareholders in Sirius XM will be interested in a legal challenge to John Malone's company for low-balling Sirius XM's shareholder value."
Carl Icahn, take notice and interest. It's not the first time Nader has taken the investor activism route to enact change. Three years ago, Nader sent a letter to Cisco's (CSCO) CEO John Chambers expressing his frustration over the company's lackluster 10-year performance. In his letter, Nader reprimanded Chambers not only for his poor execution, but demanded that Cisco return cash to its shareholders.
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