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This column was originally published on RealMoney on Oct. 4 at 10:39 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for readers.

The satellite twins,

XM Satellite




(SIRI) - Get Sirius XM Holdings, Inc. Report

, both

reported their monthly subscriber numbers this morning.

XM is losing altitude in terms of growth, adding just 285,000 net new users to a total of 7.18 million, and it looks like it will fall short of its year-end goal of 8 million subs. The stock is off fractionally. The most active strike is the October $12.50 put, but at just 200 contracts, investors don't seem to think the sky is falling.

On the other hand, Sirius racked up about 441,000 net new users and now has 5.19 million total. Its stock is fractionally higher, too. Sirius is seeing a build in call-option open interest, most notably in the January 2007 and 2008 $5 calls, which have 151,000 and 98,000 contracts open, respectively. Today's most active strike is the October $4 call, which has traded 1,200 contracts.

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To follow up on a post I made

two weeks ago, in which I felt that Sirius' dip on rumors of Howard Stern's possible departure presented a buying opportunity, I went ahead and established a bullish position for the

Options Alerts model portfolio.

On the technical front, I think yesterday's close above $4 is very constructive. From a fundamental standpoint, Sirius' wireless product, the Stiletto, will be available for the holiday season and should boost sales and help it continue to gain market share over XM, which has no similar product.

So I still think using some of these longer-term Sirius options at the $5 strike with a 20-cent to 60-cent price, depending on the time frame, offers a good leveraged but limited-risk position.

Steven Smith writes regularly for In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He was a seatholding member of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) from May 1989 to August 1995. During that six-year period, he traded multiple markets for his own personal account and acted as an executing broker for third-party accounts. He appreciates your feedback;

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