(Sirius XM article updated to reflect analysts insight on stock price movement.)
NEW YORK (
stock has surged above the $1 a share mark on Wednesday afternoon, breaking through the penny-stock barrier for the first time since 2008.
Sirius XM stock skyrocketed 11.6% to $1.10 on the day and closed up 9.6% at $1.05.
Standard & Poor's analyst Tuna Amobi said that the lead-up to Sirius's rally Wednesday stems from investors' perspective that the company has weathered most of its troubles from a financing standpoint, as well as an operational perspective. Amobi cites improving trends in the company's automotive channel and its pre-announced fourth-quarter results.
The stock's achievement Wednesday has allayed much investor fear over the stock being delisted. Amobi says Sirius has dealt its cards well in buying time and avoiding a reverse stock split.
He also notes that Sirius' increasing volume, even before the stock went over a dollar, signaled that those on the sidelines were "coming back into the shares ... it's a good sign any time volumes go up in terms of demand and supply dynamics."
Sirius XM's rally is certainly a reason for investors in the stock to celebrate, but Amobi is still watching the company with a measured degree of caution, especially with regards to the company's retail channel. He says he still needs more data points on the company's retail channel -- a major channel for the company -- before drawing any conclusions.
"They really struggled with that one over the last year or more," Amobi said. "That means the auto channel had to continue to pick up the slack." How much longer it can do that remains to be seen, he said.
On Jan. 19 Sirius came out with a report saying that it expected to
report more than $100 million of free cash flow for 2009.
Sirius also said it ended the year with about 18.8 million subscribers, adding about 257,000 net subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Miller Tabak & Co. analyst David Joyce, for his part, says he doesn't know what triggered today's rally and is surprised at how investors have been latching on. Joyce adds that today's rally has been quite "meaningless" in the sense that "I don't think they had to worry about delisting from NASDAQ because they had so many shares outstanding already."
Still, we can only imagine that will do little to dampen the enthusiasm of Sirius XM shareholders today.
-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York
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