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Pandora posts in-line 1Q loss, upbeat sales

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm •  Published: May 23, 2013

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Internet radio company Pandora Media Inc. reported higher-than-expected revenue in the latest quarter, with losses in line with analysts' forecasts, as the number of subscribers who pay for ad-free listening more than doubled to exceed 2.5 million.

Pandora predicted that it may break even in the current quarter after adjusting for one-time costs, and it predicted annual earnings and revenue that exceeded Wall Street forecasts. Its stock jumped in after-hours trading.

The upbeat results reported Thursday are a positive sign for the Internet startup as competition in digital music gets tougher. Google Inc. launched a paid subscription plan called All Access last week, and Apple Inc. is expected to unveil a free radio streaming plan later this year.

Still, Pandora is the leading Internet radio provider. CEO Joe Kennedy said the competition is not a concern.

"I don't think it pays to focus on this competitor or that competitor," Kennedy said in an interview. "What we can control is our continued development of what we believe is the best personalized radio service in the world."

The net loss in the three months ending April 30 grew to $28.6 million, or 16 cents per share, from a loss of $20.2 million, or 12 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding items such as stock-based compensation costs, the loss came to 10 cents per share, matching the forecast of analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue rose 55 percent to $126 million, above the $124 million that analysts were looking for.

Pandora shares jumped 8.5 percent to $18.61 after the results came out, their highest price since July 2011, a month after it debuted on public stock markets at $16.

Total listener hours grew 35 percent to 4.18 billion in the quarter, and revenue from mobile devices nearly doubled to $83.9 million, outstripping the growth in mobile listening hours, which rose 47 percent.

Revenue per thousand listener hours on mobile devices grew to $25.31 in the quarter, up from $18.86 a year ago. Total revenue per thousand listener hours including computers hit $30.01, up from $26.09 a year ago.

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