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Sirius reports wider loss in second quarter

/ Source: The Associated Press

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. reported a wider loss for its second quarter Tuesday as the company continued to build its subscriber base. Sirius also edged up its forecast for full-year subscribers to 6.3 million.

The company said it lost of $237.8 million, compared with a net loss of $177.6 million in the same period a year ago. On a per-share basis, the loss was equivalent to 17 cents versus 13 cents in the year-ago period.

The current figures include 1 cent per share in charges related to a write-down of satellite parts. Excluding that charge, the loss was in line with the estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Financial.

Revenue jumped to $150.1 million from $52.2 million in the year-ago period, largely due to a bigger subscriber base. Sirius said it added 600,460 net subscribers in the second quarter, giving it 4.7 million at the end of the period.

The company says it is now on track to have 6.3 million subscribers by the end of 2006, up slightly from its previous guidance of 6.2 million. It also expects slightly higher revenue of $615 million versus its previous estimate of over $600 million, and a wider free cash flow loss of $500 million, from $480 million, due to a new satellite launch agreement and changes in working cash flow assumptions.

Both Sirius and its competitor XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. have been spending heavily to build up their subscriber bases and programming lineups and have yet to report profit. Both say they hope to be profitable from operations as early as the fourth quarter of this year.