Sirius Satellite's Revenue Falls Just Short - TheStreet

Sirius Satellite's Revenue Falls Just Short

Shares tick lower in early trading.
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Sirius Satellite Radio

(SIRI) - Get Report

traded lower Tuesday, one day after the company reported first-quarter revenue that came in below Wall Street's expectations.

The New York-based satellite radio operator reported a loss of $104.1 million, or 7 cents a share, in the first quarter, which narrowed from a year-ago loss of $144.7 million, or 10 cents a share. Total revenue rose to $270.4 million, up 33% from the same quarter a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting a loss of 7 cents a share on revenue of $271.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters. The stock was off 4 cents, or 1.4%, at $2.83 a share in Tuesday's premarket session.

Investors were more interested, though, in comments from Sirius on its pending merger with rival

XM Satellite Radio

(XMSR)

, which has received approval from the Justice Department but is still awaiting a ruling from the Federal Communications Commission.

"It is almost 350 days on the FCC clock from when it was put on public notice. The FCC historically tries to review deals within 180 days," said CEO Mel Karmazin on the company's conference call. "We share the reasonable frustration that many of our investors feel regarding the time it has taken."

Much like its merger partner XM, Sirius did not provide 2008 guidance in its earnings report because of the pending FCC decision.

Sirius said it ended the quarter with 8.6 million subscribers, compared to 6.6 million at the end of the same quarter a year ago. The company said that increase was driven by a 72% year-over-year gain in the number of gross additions through its automotive, or OEM, channel.

Among key metrics watched closely by analysts, average revenue per subscriber fell to $10.42 from $10.46 in the year-ago quarter. At the same time, monthly churn, which measures the number of subscribers who quit the service, grew to 2.7% from 2.3% in the first quarter of 2007.

On the positive side, subscriber acquisition costs shrank 10% to $91 from $101 last year.

Earlier Monday,

XM reported first-quarter results

that came up shy of expectations. XM was lately down 26 cents, or 2.1%, to $12.04.