NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Auto sales are still on pace to drive the industry's highest sales rates in a decade, thanks to a seasonally adjusted, annualized selling rate of 17.99 million vehicles in June. Not only does this mark a 6% sequential climb from 16.96 million units in May, SAAR is likely to reach a robust 20.64 million units in July, according to AutomotiveNews. "By the numbers, the U.S. auto industry just had its best spring selling season in a decade," the vehicle sales data-mining site noted.
All of this bodes well for car-related stocks like satellite radio provider Sirius XM Holdings (SIRI - Get Report), which reports second-quarter earnings results Tuesday before the opening bell. The New York-based company relies on car sales to drive its subscriber numbers. The more cars people buy increases consumers' exposure to Sirius' promotional offerings. And therefore increases Sirius' chances of converting them to paid subscribers.
And with auto sales soaring and on pace to post the industries highest sales since 2005, investors should consider the attractive growth prospects Sirius presents. Not to mention, as the only satellite radio provider in the U.S., Sirius has shown it has lasting power, growing its subscriber base despite the arrival of streaming radio alternatives from the likes of Pandora (P).
In the first quarter, for instance, Sirius added 431,000 net new subscribers, marking a 61% year-over-year jump from the prior-year quarter of 267,000. Self-pay subscribers, or customers who have opted to pay for the service and are no longer on promotional trails, surged almost 130%, up from 173,000 to 394,000. This is especially important since it shows Sirius' ability to get people to pay for its service, while highlighting the effectiveness of its business model.
At the same time, self-pay monthly churn, the metric that tracks customer cancelations, continue to trend lower, down slightly in the first quarter to 1.8% from 1.9%. All of this led to a 8% year-over-year increase in revenue and a 12% year-over-year jump in profits. And here's the thing: Sirius was able to achieve these results with less tailwinds from auto sales than it has now, suggesting Tuesday's results are likely to be even more impressive.
For the quarter that ended June, the average analyst earnings estimate calls for 3 cents a share on revenue of $1.12 billion, translating to year-over-year increases of 50% and 8%, respectively. For the full year ending in December, earnings are projected to climb 37% year over year to 11 cents a share, while full-year revenue of $4.5 billion would mark a 7% year-over-year increase.
With cash flow still climbing at impressive rates, the prospects of higher car sales fueling Sirius' growth for the next 12 months to 18 months makes the stock even more attractive. This explains, despite the stock's 10% year-to-date gains, Sirius stock still has a consensus buy rating and an average analyst 12-month price target of $4.50, suggesting 17% gains from current levels.