matched Wall Street's first-quarter targets Thursday and raised 2005 subscriber growth guidance.
The New York pay radio shop lost $194 million, or 15 cents a share, in the quarter ended March 31. A year ago the company lost $144 million, or 12 cents a share. Revenue rose to $43.2 million from $9.3 million a year earlier.
The company said it added 305,437 subscribers during the quarter and boosted its year-end user target to 2.7 million users from the previous 2.5 million. Sirius also said so-called churn, a measure of monthly customer defections, fell to a record low of 1.3%.
But the company continues to foot a hefty bill for each added subscriber. Sirius said it paid $190 for each gross subscriber addition during the quarter. That's below the year-ago $248, but well above the $145 Sirius has targeted for 2005.
The latest quarter also showed a near tripling in programming costs, as Sirius pays down the big investments it has made in marquee talent. In recent months and years the company has signed big deals with Howard Stern, Martha Stewart and the NFL, deals that are no doubt drawing subscribers but also boosting costs.
Sirius guided toward full-year revenue of $215 million, up from its previous $210 million target but short of the $218 million Thomson First Call forecast. Sirius also said it expects to lose $510 million from operations for 2005, up from its previous forecast of a $480 million operating loss. The company cited rising subscriber acquisition costs.
The news comes on the heels of solid growth reported Wednesday by Sirius rival
. Its strong subscriber addition figures, however, failed to ignite a rally, and both stocks gave up ground amid worries about
how these companies will pay the tab.
Early Thursday, Sirius slipped 7 cents to $4.60.