Ahead of its Q4 earnings call, Sirius XM announced that it has exceeded its 2017 subscriber guidance. The satellite radio company ended the year with about 27.5 million self-pay subscribers, adding an estimated 1.56 million self-pay subscribers in 2017.
The company also said that it expects to meet or exceed its 2017 guidance for revenue and adjusted earmings. Sirius XM also issued its guidance for 2018. The company expects about 1 million self-pay net subscriber additions this year. It is predicting revenue of about $5.7 billion and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $2.15 billion.
“We are very pleased to project adjusted EBITDA growth in 2018 despite the unexpected increase in our royalty rate for the use of sound recordings recently imposed by the Copyright Royalty Board,” said David Frear, CFO and senior executive vice president. “The projected increase in adjusted EBITDA again highlights the durability and flexibility of our business.”
Frear also recently spoke at the Citi Global TMT West Conference in Las Vegas and said that Sirius XM is not expecting to pursue any large acquisitions. He noted that Sirius XM still has organic growth opportunities and isn’t convinced that an acquisition would be an efficient path to growth. “You can pursue the ego-gratifying strategic initiatives, and take all of management’s attention and focus on what has been acquired,” he said. “Then you take your eye off of the part of the business that creates all the value.”
Sirius XM invested $480 million in Pandora in June 2017, although the audio company was also discussed as an acquisition target. At that time, Frear seemed more open to the idea of M&A: “If we had had a meeting of the minds on value, I think the two sides could have reached a deal to do a complete acquisition but that wasn’t there.”