NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Liberty Media ( LCAPA) and its equity affiliate Sirius XM ( SIRI) reached 52-week highs this morning as investors show confidence for media stocks entering the new year. Sirius surged to $1.74 in early morning trading today as investors expect automakers to report strong December U.S. car sales today at 3 p.m. ET. teamed up with BMW to offer an introductory one-year subscription of the "Sirius Everything" package with every new 2011 BMW Mini and several of its new motorcycle models. Two weeks ago, Edmunds.com said the number of new car sales in the U.S. will reach the highest level of the year this December. The car-buying site expects to see about 1.1 million new auto sales in December, up 30.4% from November 2010 and up 10.2% from December 2009. It also projects a 10.5% increase in total units sold in 2010 to 11.5 million from 10.4 million in 2009. Shares were also climbing on Monday morning after the company announced that it entered into a multi-year broadcast agreement with Manchester United Football Club. The deal appoints Sirius the official U.S. radio broadcaster of Manchester United and gives the company the rights to stream live play-by-play broadcasts of every Premier League match to subscribers online as well as through Sirius' mobile application.
Shares of Liberty Media spiked to a 52-week high share price of $65.65 this morning and have been gaining steadily since its share price of $24.72 one year ago.Analyst Barton Crockett of Lazard Capital raised his price target for the stock several times throughout 2010. In October he upped his stock price outlook to $73 from his previous $64 target, which he had increased from $59 in August. Two weeks ago, Liberty shares surged after analyst James Ratcliffe of Barclays Capital raised his price target on the stock to $60 from $56. In a Dec. 20 research note to investors, Ratcliffe maintained his neutral rating on Liberty Media Capital as well as Liberty Media Starz ( LSTZA) as he believes their plans to split from Liberty Media Interactive ( LINTA) will be finalized in 2011. Ratcliffe says his 2011 year-end price target for Liberty Starz is $72 on his prediction that Starz will strike an over-the-top deal with Netflix ( NFLX) or another company such as Amazon ( AMZN) or Google ( GOOG). He believes that over-the-top will be a key revenue source, bringing in $160 million in annualized revenue beginning in the mid-2011. "With our forecast for relatively flat subscribership over the next few years, despite increased spending on original programming, we view over-the-top revenue as Starz's primary growth driver in 2011," Ratcliffe said. Liberty Media Capital controls 40% of the satellite radio company's shares. Ratcliffe noted that Sirius XM's positive stock performance has been a key driver of Liberty shares over the past year. Ratcliffe noted that the Liberty will continue to benefit from the positive performance of its equity affiliate, Sirius XM. Liberty Media Capital controls 40% of the satellite radio company's shares. Ratcliffe noted that Sirius XM's positive stock performance has been a key driver of Liberty shares over the past year. Sirius is currently up more than 1% to $1.71, while Liberty is up about 2.3% to $65.24. -- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Theresa McCabe. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to @TheresaMcCabe. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.