Sirius XM Cuts Its Losses

Company predicts $400 million for the year due to merger

Sirius XM lost a lot less money in the first quarter of 2009 than the same quarter the year before, according to just-released financial figures.

The pro forma net loss for the quarter was $62.9 million, which was 73% better than the $233.4 million it lost in the first quarter of 2008.

Subs were up 3% to 18,599,434 from first quarter 2008, but down 2% from the most recent quarter (4Q 2008).

But cash flow was up substantially (99%) to $3.6 million, compared to a loss of $233.4 million in 1Q 2008. "Satellite radio is now a cash flow growth story," said CEO Mel Karmazin in announcing the results Thursday.

Revenue was also up 5% to $605.5 million. Adjusted income was $108.8 million and the company was predicted a total-year figure of $350 million, up from a projected $300 million.

The first quarter 2008 results are based on the combination of XM and Sirius figures as though their merger had been in place at that time (it was not actually approved until July 2008).

Operating costs were down 23%. The company predicted it would be able to save $400 million over all of 2009 due to reductions in personnel and other "synergies" from the combination.