XM Satellite subscribers rise, lift stock price

XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. said on Wednesday it has signed up more than 360,000 total subscribers to its satellite radio broadcast service, and expect further strong demand in 2003.

The announcement, delivered in conjunction with XM's presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, propelled shares of the Washington, D.C.-based company to session highs. XM shares closed on Nasdaq at $3.01, up 17 cents, or about 6 percent.

XM, the early leader in the burgeoning market for radio delivered nationwide to users who pay a monthly service fee, added 145,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter, up 72 percent over its cumulative total at the end of the third quarter.

Fueled by demand for new products, including installation of its radio receivers in new vehicles from General Motors and the launch of portable satellite devices, the company says it expects to exceed one million subscribers during 2003.

The company had previously said it expected to have 350,000 subscribers for the year. It said on Wednesday it ended 2002 with more than 347,000 subscribers, but noted that many machines purchased during the holiday season had not been activated by year-end.

News source: The Washington Post

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