Updated from 10:19 a.m.
shares surged 11% Tuesday, hitting a two-year high, as the company stayed on track to reach a looming subscriber goal.
The New York satellite radio shop says it passed the 800,000-user mark Monday and expects to reach 1 million subscribers by year-end. The stock, which fetched less than $2 a year ago, jumped 67 cents to $6.64 in midday action.
The pay-radio broadcaster has made a splash in recent weeks as it seeks to enter the media big leagues. Last week, Sirius hired former
exec Mel Karmazin as its new chief, pushing former CEO Joe Clayton up to chairman.
Last month, the company signed shock jock Howard Stern to a $500 million contract starting in 2006.
Sirius got a late start in the satellite radio business and lags behind rival
by about one year. XM, which has more than 2 million subscribers, rose $1.38 to $36.10 Tuesday, putting it near a 52-week high as well.
Sirius expects to sign on more than 200,000 new users in the next month as holiday gift-buyers hit the market.
"Sirius is on a roll," Karmazin said in a press release Monday. "We are very excited about this upcoming holiday season, now that we have such a wide array of innovative products on retail shelves."
Karmazin appears to be betting on Sirius' success. On Friday, Karmazin bought 1.5 million shares of Sirius at $5.36, a purchase worth $8 million. Karmazin also has options on 3 million additional exercisable shares, according to a federal filing. The executive has some 30 million shares underlying options that haven't yet vested.