Sirius' Karmazin Still Optimistic on XM Merger

Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin said he remains positive that the satellite radio company can complete its pending merger with rival XM Satellite Radio.

The $13 billion combination of Sirius and XM, a deal announced more than a year ago, continues to wait for regulatory approval. In a Tuesday conference call with analysts, Karmazin said the company "remains optimistic that we will get favorable information (from those regulators) in the near future.

"We believe that we have made the case that the merger strengthens satellite radio's position in the audio market," the executive said. Karmazin added that the proposed transaction would deliver lower prices to consumers along with a la carte programming choices, family-friendly options and other consumer positives.

Sirius reported fourth quarter and year-end 2007 results Tuesday. Positives from the full year, as highlighted by Karmazin, included revenue growth of 45 percent to $922.1 million. Also, Sirius achieved positive free cash flow in the second half of the year, including $75.9 million in positive free cash flow in the fourth quarter.

In addition, Sirius ended 2007 with 8.321 million subscribers, up 38 percent from 6 million subscribers reported at the end of 2006.