Liberty 'Interferences' Not Beneficial To Sirius At All
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Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) is fighting hard to keep Liberty Media (NASDAQ: STRZA) from taking it over. This drama has been unfolding over the last few months. Liberty Media is the biggest shareholder for Sirius, and it has been expressing the desire to take complete control of Sirius. Liberty Media made its intentions officially known when it declared that it would buy more stocks in the company. It even hopes to replace the board of directors with candidates that are sympathetic to Liberty Media and its aims. This is clearly an attempt by Liberty Media to step up its efforts to gain majority control.
This is not the first move that Liberty Media has made to try and gain control. Earlier this year, the company attempted to become the de facto controlling shareholder of the company, even though it only had a 40% stake at the time. The Federal Communications Commission denied this attempt though, as a company must have a 50% stake or more to take control. Liberty Media has risen to the challenge, increasing its stake as much as possible. With time, Liberty Media may end up seizing even more shares and eventually gaining control of the company.
A few years ago, Liberty Media came to the aid of Sirius by giving the struggling company an enormous loan. This was in exchange for shares in the company. The companies signed an agreement, and Liberty Media promised not to make any attempts to take control of the company for a period of three years. You will not be surprised to hear that those three years came to an end recently, allowing Liberty Media to pursue its own agenda.
In response, Sirius has also filed a request with the Federal Communications Commission, asking it to deny the attempts of Liberty Media to gain control of the company for a second time. Sirius stated that Liberty Media has yet to put forward a coherent plan for how and when it will take it over. It claims that this shows the company is not firmly dedicated to the plan and that it needs to make its intentions clearer. At this point, we are still waiting to hear the Federal Communications Commission's final decision.
Sirius stock declined following Liberty Media's clear declaration of its intentions, and I would expect the decision from the Federal Communications Commission to have a similarly significant effect. Shareholders should pay close attention to this situation.
Despite the situation with Liberty Media, Sirius is still actively trying to expand its reach. Sirius recently teamed up with Penske Automotive Group (PAG). The auto company will offer three free months of Sirius service to buyers of used cars with factory-installed receivers. This should work to the benefit of both companies and have positive effects on the stocks.
Phoenix New Media (NYSE: FENG) is a competitor that is on the rise. Compared to others, Phoenix is a fairly new player in the industry, and it is based in China. The most recent news for this company involves the collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada and should bring good results to the company and the stock. As a result of this agreement, Chinese users will have access to films distributed by the National Film Board of Canada. The films will be accessible through the NFB ZONE on the Phoenix website. This is the first time that Canadian films will be digitally distributed in China, and it should have a positive impact on Phoenix stock.
Competitor Pandora (NYSE: P) is currently in the spotlight because shares in the stock have fallen significantly. An analyst pointed out that Songza is a more frequently downloaded free app for Apple (AAPL) users than Pandora, and this led to the drops in Pandora stock price. Songza is a new introduction to the market, and it seems that its competitors should watch out. Its success is concerning, so it is understandable that some investors lost confidence in Pandora. That being said, Pandora still maintains its status as a leading provider of free online music services. This should not lead to further significant drops in the stock price, therefore, but one does need to keep a close eye on Songza to see how this situation plays out.
The growth of the music industry can be seen in how Clear Channel Communications (NYSE: CCO) will be the first to start paying out royalties for broadcasting music on the air. This is good news for musicians, but it also means that other broadcasting companies will have to start doing something similar if they want artists to continue providing them with music. This may have implications for online radio as well, as it may soon be required to pay royalties as well. I expect this to have a fairly neutral effect on Clear Channel stock, however, as this is uncharted territory that will receive mixed responses from investors.
Especially in comparison to some of its competitors, Sirius seems to be struggling at the moment, and the interferences from Liberty Media are not helping. The competition seems to be strong, and Sirius is not doing much to keep up. In addition, it seems that Liberty Media will continue to grow in strength as it has been. I think it will eventually acquire control of Sirius without much of a challenge. At best, I think Sirius is an unstable stock option to invest in for the time being.
BobbyFisher has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.