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Pandora posts 3Q loss, revenue up 50 percent
November 22, 2013, 05:00 AM The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Shares of Pandora Media Inc. slipped Thursday after the Internet radio leader gave an outlook for the three months through January that was short of Wall Street’s forecast.

Chief Financial Officer Mike Herring said, however, that the impact from the Sept. 18 launch of Apple Inc.’s rival iTunes Radio was “modest.” Pandora noticed a quick dip in users, followed by stabilization and recovery in October, he said.

“It said a lot, we think, of the resilience and value of the Pandora brand,” he told The Associated Press.

The company based in Oakland, Calif., posted a loss in the quarter through Oct. 31 of $1.7 million, or a penny per share. Excluding stock-based compensation and other items, earnings came to 6 cents per share, matching the forecast of analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue rose 50 percent to $180.4 million, beating the $177 million expected by analysts. Mobile advertising revenue grew 58 percent to $104.9 million, crossing nine figures for the first time.

Pandora says it had 70.9 million active listeners in the quarter, up 20 percent from a year ago, but down slightly from the 71.2 million in the preceding quarter.

Total listener hours grew 17 percent from a year ago to 4.18 billion, also up 8 percent from the quarter through July.

The company is transitioning its fiscal year to match the calendar year, and it will next report for a two-month period ending in December.

However, analysts’ expectations are still for the current quarter through January. On that basis, Pandora said it expects adjusted earnings of 2 cents to 4 cents per share. The midpoint of the range is a penny below the 4 cents expected by analysts.

It also expects adjusted revenue of $185 million to $190 million, while analysts were looking for $189 million. The adjusted figure adds back revenue from subscriptions that enable ad-free listening which is not recorded until a 30-day cancellation period passes. In the last quarter, the amount excluded only came to about $1.2 million.

Pandora shares fell 38 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $29.30 in after-hours trading, after rising $1.24 to close up 4.4 percent at $29.68 in the regular session. The stock has more than tripled this year.

 

 

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