Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. reported a smaller third-quarter net loss as revenue more than doubled on a sharp gain in subscribers to its fee-based service.
Sirius, whose service is home to shock jock Howard Stern, reiterated its forecast for 6.3 million users by year-end, with total 2006 revenue of $615 million and 2007 revenue of $1 billion.
Sirius' net loss narrowed to $162.9 million, or 12 cents a share, from $180.4 million, or 14 cents, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected a loss of 14 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Revenue for the New York-based company was $167.1 million, just shy of analysts' view of $168.6 million.
The results set the stage for a hot contest in the fourth quarter, when Sirius and rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. will battle to woo holiday shoppers to sign up for subscriptions or give the radios as gifts.
Both companies this year briefly halted making some radio models because they were not compliant with federal guidelines. This week, each voiced optimism about the holiday season, saying that they will have enough products to meet demand.
During the third quarter, Sirius added about 441,000 net subscribers for a total of 5.1 million. The cost of acquiring each customer fell 23% to $114 from $149.
Sirius shares rose 3 cents to $4.12.