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XM announces plans for new satellite, launch
Posted: Sat, Aug 9, 2003, 11:13 AM ET (1513 GMT)
Boeing 702 satellite illustration XM Satellite Radio announced Thursday that the company will launch a third satellite and begin construction of a fourth to deal with problems with its two existing satellites. XM, announcing its second quarter results on Thursday, said that it will launch an existing backup satellite, XM-3, in the fourth quarter of 2004. It has also contracted with Boeing Satellite Systems to build XM-4, a ground spare that could be launched later in the decade. The company's two on-orbit satellites are currently functioning normally but are experiencing degrading performance of its solar array power system common to all early Boeing 702 models. XM has filed an insurance claim but reported Thursday that insurers have rejected the claim because the satellites are still performing normally; XM said it will pursue the insurance claim in court, if necessary. That news, coupled with a larger-than-expected loss of $95.8 million in the quarter, caused XM's stock to drop 21 percent on Thursday; the stock rebounded 13 percent on Friday. XM currently has nearly 700,000 subscribers and is on track to have over one million by the end of the year. XM's rival, Sirius, reported this week that it has just over 100,000 subscribers, with a loss of $109.8 million in the second quarter.
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