NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sirius XM ( SIRI - Get Report) shares reached another 52-week high of $1.61 today after the satellite radio company swung to a third-quarter profit and upped its guidance for the full year.

For the quarter ended September 30, the company saw earnings swing to a profit of $67.6 million, or a penny per share, compared with a loss of $151.5 million, or 4 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. Earnings were one cent ahead of analyst estimates of 0 cents.

Management raised its full-year outlook, projecting that adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will come in around $600 million, up from the previous forecast of $575 million. It also expects adjusted revenue to exceed $2.8 billion in 2010.

Sirius shares have hit a string of new 52-week highs over the last several weeks, reaching year-highs of $1.59 on Tuesday in early morning trading and $1.61 directly following the earnings release on Thursday morning. The stock has been steadily gaining since its low of around 55 cents one year ago.

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Total revenue rose 16% to $717.5 million from $618.7 million during the quarter due to a 5.8% increase in subscriber revenue as well as strong gains in its advertising segment.

As Chief Executive Officer Mel Karmazin previously announced, the satellite radio company added 334,727 net subscribers in the third quarter, more than tripling its net gain of 102,295 subscriber additions during the same period a year ago. The company ended the quarter with 19.9 million subscribers.

Karmazin said he expects Sirius to end 2010 with approximately 20.1 million subscribers, which would be the highest number of net subscribers in its history.

For the first nine months of the year, earnings swung to a profit of $124.5 million, or 2 cents per diluted share, compared with a loss of $550 million, or 15 cents per diluted share, in the same period a year ago. Total revenue rose 15.8% to $2.08 billion from $1.8 billion.

Executives are currently in talks with Howard Stern and several other expiring program personalities to negotiate new contract terms.

CEO Mel Karmazin had told investors and fans that he would provide an update on the status of Stern's expiring contract before the company's third quarter earnings, but on the call he told analysts that he has yet to secure a contract with the shock jockey. "The discussions continue," he said.


Analyst Barton Crockett of Lazard Capital raised his target price for Sirius by 30 cents to $1.65 based on his assumption that the adjusted EBITDA will increase year over year, coming in at $692 million in 2011, and $835 million in 2012.

In a Nov. 4 research note, he reaffirmed his buy rating based on the growth in net subscribers and the rising average revenue per subscriber.

Crockett says that the company's risks include the growing competition with Internet radio, weak car sales and the pending contract renewal with Stern.

"We assume that Howard Stern is more likely to stay than go, with cash pay close to the $80 million a year he currently receives, but no more equity," Crockett said in an Oct. 14 report. "We think he stays because others won't match the cash he gets from Sirius, and because the show provides flexibility on work hours and format."

Sirius shares are currently trading off the high, down approximately 1% to $1.55.

-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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