Sirius XM Holding Inc. to Offer Special Programming for 2014 NBA Playoffs


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NASDAQ:SIRI / NASDAQ:CSCO / NYSE:KING
04/21/2014 [ACCESSWIRE]

Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) said it will offer the most comprehensive radio coverage available for the 2014 NBA Playoffs, featuring live play-by-play of every game, plus special programming on SiriusXM NBA Radio, channel 217.

During the playoffs, subscribers will get live play-by-play broadcasts of every postseason game through the Finals on their satellite radios, through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App and at SiriusXM.com. Those listening through the app and online can also choose between the home and visiting team broadcasts for every game.

This latest competitive programing announcement comes only a week after Sirius announced that the ratings on the 5.25% Senior Notes due 2022 issued by its subsidiary, Sirius XM Radio Inc., have been upgraded to investment grade by both Standard & Poor's Ratings Services and Moody's Investors Service.

"The upgrade of the ratings on the Notes to investment grade has the effect of eliminating many of the financial covenants contained in these Notes," said Sirius’ Chief Financial Officer, David Frear. "Most importantly, the limitation on restricted payments contained in the indenture governing the Notes is no longer applicable and these Notes no longer constrain our share buyback activity," added Frear.

Shares Trending Downward

Still, the New York-based satellite radio company’s share value has been trending downward along with the recent tech malaise. Rumors are flying that its financials will be flat and concerns about Sirius facing competition in the Satellite radio market from Apple and others has had an eroding effect on its stock value.

On Apr. 18, SIRI’s share price closed at $3.14, down 3 cents from its closing price of $3.17 the previous day on volume of 66.9 million shares. Just a month about SIRI’s share value was $3.47 a share.

Still, the company has come a long, long way from the time its share price crashed at 5 cents in February of 2009.

Sirius’ strong recovery from its low point was evident in its fourth-quarter and full-year 2013 earnings reported on Feb. 4, 2014.

The company generated record revenue of $1.0 billion and $3.8 billion in the fourth quarter and full-year, respectively, each up 12%. Net income for the fourth quarter and full-year were $65 million and $377 million, respectively, or $0.01 and $0.06 per diluted common share, respectively.

Income from operations was $245 million and $1.0 billion in the fourth quarter and full-year 2013, respectively. Adjusted EBITDA increased 41% in the fourth quarter to a record $326 million. Full-year 2013 adjusted EBITDA was $1.17 billion, an increase of 27% from $920 million in 2012.

Potential Lawsuits Not Hurting SIRI

Despite a myriad of law-firm of Sirius XM for potential stockholder claims as a result of the satellite-radio investigations company’s proposed acquisition by Liberty Media Corp., its stock price is holding its own.

On Jan. 3, 2014, Liberty Media make an offer to buy Sirius for about $10.4 billion at a rate of $3.68 per share. The deal involves creating a new class of stock called Series C, adding 0.076 per share to give the company a total market value of as much as $27 billion.

Although the pending acquisition has triggered a slew of potential stockholder lawsuits, without Liberty Media, Sirius XM might not have been here today.

That’s because in 2009, Liberty Media kept Sirius XM from going bankrupt with a $530 million loan. As a result, Sirius XM has been able to build a subscriber base 25.6 million strong. It’s done so with a line-up of paid-radio choices including classical, rock, alternative, country, sports and live concerts, including the extremely-popular morning man Howard Stern serving as the company’s anchor.  Moreover, having new cars equipped with XM receivers has also boosted the company’s popularity and acceptability. However, Sirius XM still faces brutal competition from such digital radio competitors as Pandora Media Inc., AOLRadio and Apple Inc.

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Bright House Networks Deploys New Cisco Network to Power Its Cloud- Services

In other news, Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) announced Apr. 17  that Bright House Networks, the sixth-largest owner and operator of cable systems in the United States, will now deploy Cisco’s Network Convergence System .

The Cisco product enables Bright House Networks to support cloud-based, managed services for businesses, such as hosted voice, call center, application and infrastructure-as-a-service. The Cisco network also supports Bright House Networks' managed security, network transport, Wi-Fi and traditional voice and data services to business customers.

Bright House Networks is the first cable operator to deploy the Cisco NCS 6000, which offers the industry's first 1 terabits per second (Tbps) line card with the capability of transporting up to 5 Tbps per slot and a total system capacity of 1.2 petabits per second (Pbps) in a multi-chassis configuration to support a converged Internet Protocol (IP) and optical environment.

This is the latest news from Cisco since it released its fourth-quarter results Feb. 21. Although they beat consensus estimates with earnings coming in at 47 cents a share compared with analysts’ estimates or 46 cents, the company’s poor showing in emerging markets is considered an Achilles’ heel for the networking giant’s future revenue growth, according to some industry experts.

Net Earnings and Gross Margins Dropping

Another disturbing trend brought to light in Cisco’s financials is the fact that it’s fourth-quarter net earnings dropped by 7% along with its gross margins, declining 19% as a result of lagging sales. 

Analysts’ Consensus

Still, of the 25 analysts covering Cisco, 16 recommend a “strong buy,” 1 recommends a “buy,” 7 recommend a “hold” and 1 recommends a “sell.”

CSCO’s share value closed at $23.21 on Apr. 18, up 18 cents, from its close of $23.03 the previous day, on volume of 47,813,600 shares.

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King to Report First Quarter 2014 Results

Meanwhile, since its debut on Wall Street several weeks ago, King Digital Entertainment Plc’s (NYSE: KING) share value has yet to equal its $22.50 IPO price since it went public several weeks ago. 

On Apr. 18, the stock continued to lose value, with KING closing at $17.81, down 22 cents from its close of $18.03 the previous day, on moderate volume of 665,518 shares.

However, the online game maker share value could gain some ground if its first quarter 2014 financial results end up being better than expected. King announced Apr. 16 that its financials will be released before market open on Wed, May 7, 2014.

King will host a conference call to discuss its results at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time the same day. Listeners may access the live conference call via a dial-in number or audio webcast.  Conference call details are: US callers: +1 (877) 201-0168, Conference ID: 25494037International callers: +1 (647) 788-4901, Conference ID: 25494037

Still Early In the Game

Meanwhile, scrambling for reasons to explain King’s initial poor showing, some analysts say King’s share value continues to be weak because the company is a "one-trick pony," meaning it has no other monster gaming hits to back up Candy Crush when it eventually loses its popularity.  However, such early critiques may be unfair and premature. Let’s remember that even such social media giants as Facebook also (NASDAQ:FB) had a rocky start when they first came out of the gate.

Plus, there are more than 180 "game IPs" in King’s Digital library.  Candy Crush has proved to be the company's money-maker with 97 million daily active users, according to the IPO prospectus. Candy Crush accounts for 78 percent of King's sales. But  King's other popular games include Farm Heroes Saga and Bubble Witch Saga, each of which has fewer than 20 million daily users. 

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