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UPDATE 2-Sirius' Q3 revenue up, offers no update on CEO search

Liana B. Baker and Sayantani Ghosh
Thursday, 1 Nov 2012 | 2:52 PM ET

* Posts EPS of 1 cent/shr vs. Street's 2 cents/shr

* Provide no details on management change

* CEO Karmazin said last week he would step down in February

* Shares up 5 percent

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Sirius XM Radio Inc posted better-than-expected revenue growth in the third quarter but fa iled to shed light on company strategy under Liberty Media Corp and its se arch for a new chief executive.

The company is in the middle of a management shakeup after Chief Executive Mel Karmazin said last week that he will step down Feb. 1, following a public battle with media mogul John Malone's Liberty Media who tried to wrest full control of Sirius.

On a conference call on Thursday, Karmazin, the outgoing CEO, made no mention of Liberty Media and no Wall Street analyst took the opportunity to ask about the recent developments. Analysts expect Liberty to pursue a major stock buyback of Sirius XM shares once the media holding company gains control.

Sirius provided no update on the progress of the CEO search. Its board has formed a search committee and is considering both internal and external candidates for the post.

``Everyone is wondering when the buyback is going to come, (when) t he new management in place and what happens when Liberty Media takes control of the company,'' said Macquarie analyst Amy Yong.

Sirius XM shares were up 15 cents or 5 percent at $2.9 5 in morning trading near its 52-week high of $2.97.

Liberty, Sirius's largest shareholder with a stake of just under 50 percent, has argued the company should be more aggressive about pursuing better technology and expanding internationally. It had filed a petition with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission this year to take control of the company's broadcast licenses. The FCC opened up a comment period on the application in October.

Sirius said last month it added 446,000 net subscribers in the third quarter and raised its full-year forecast to 1.8 million net additions. The company has 23.4 million total paid subscribers.

The company, which gets the vast majority of its subscribers through new U.S. car sales, said average revenue per subscriber rose to $12.14, in the third quarter, up from $11.97 in the prior quarter.

Net income fell to $74.5 million, or 1 cent per share, in the third quarter, from $104.2 million, or 2 cents per share, a year earlier. A nalysts on average were expecting 2 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The recent third-quarter net profit included a loss on repayment of debt of $107 million.

The New York-based company, which competes with free Internet radio services such as Pandora Media Inc, said total revenue rose 14 percent to $867.4 million.

Analysts expected revenue of $865.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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