Sirius Satellite Radio Swings To 1Q Loss

Subscriber base up to 350,000.

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. returned to an operating loss in the first quarter of 2004. A year ago, a gain on debt restructuring pushed the company into the black for the first quarter.

In financial statements released today (April 21), Sirius reported a loss of $146.4 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with earnings of $51.9 million, or 16 cents a share, in the first quarter 2003.

The company's loss from operations widened to $119.5 million from $99.1 million.

Revenue increased to $9.3 million from $1.6 million, after subtracting mail-in rebate costs. Excluding the rebates, first-quarter revenue came in at $10.4 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call, on average, expected Sirius to post a loss of 10 cents a share on sales of $8.75 million.

The company recorded 90,602 net subscriber additions in the first quarter, bringing its total subscriber base to 351,663, up from 68,059 at this time last year.

President/CEO Joseph Clayton says the company expects to have more than 500,000 subscribers through its factory- or dealer-installed automotive, boating and trucking operations by mid-2006.

Cash flow from operating activities for the quarter was a loss of $71.9 million, compared with a loss of $71.1 million in the first quarter of 2003.