SiriusXM forecasts weak annual revenue on worries over ad spend

(Reuters) - SiriusXM forecast full-year revenue below analysts' estimates on Thursday as the satellite radio company deals with an uncertain advertising market and stiff competition.

The company launched its new streaming app with a rebranded logo late last year, as it looks to add subscribers amid competition from Spotify and Alphabet's YouTube.

The full-year revenue forecast was hurt by subscriber numbers and "a modestly softer ARPU (average revenue per user)", Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Witz said on a post-earnings call, adding that an uncertain advertising market also impacted its revenue outlook.

The audio entertainment company expects full-year revenue to be about $8.75 billion, below expectations of $9.1 billion according to LSEG data.

SiriusXM, which offers its audio products to automakers, lost 225,000 paid promotional subscribers in the fourth quarter, compared to 2,000 additions in the third quarter, even as U.S. auto sales were picking up.

The company reported fourth-quarter revenue of $2.29 billion, in line with estimates. SiriusXM earned 9 cents per share, edging past analysts' average estimate of 8 cents.

Sirius said it anticipates to close its merger with billionaire John Malone's Liberty Media business during the third quarter of 2024. Liberty holds a majority stake in SiriusXM.

(Reporting by Harshita Mary Varghese; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Maju Samuel)