Pandora Listener Hours Continues To Grow; Shares Surge Higher
Pandora Media (NYSE: P) on Monday released its December listener metrics. The company revealed total listener hours, active listeners and market share.
December listener hours totaled 1.58 billion, up 13 percent year-over-year and up 6 percent month-over-month. The strong listener hours are an all-time high for the company.
December active listeners totaled 76.2 million users, up 13 percent year-over-year. The company added almost four million users from November.
The company's market share in December increased to 8.6 percent, also representing an all-time high, compared to a November's market share of 7.58 percent.
Difficult operating environment?
John Blackledge, analyst at Cowen and Company, noted that the company's December numbers are impressive, and the company is thriving in what many investors believe to be an extremely competitive environment.
“We continue to look at these results as demonstration that competition is not significantly impacting Pandora's active listener growth or listener hours,” Blackledge said. “Our survey work has consistently demonstrated that i) only the least engaged listeners are tempted to defect to rival services; and that ii) competition is generally not as strong a product leading to only a temporary hit to growth.”
Blackledge also said that he expects Pandora to be active at CES this week as the company could update its stakeholders on audio ad opportunities and an updated outlook on the company's move into connected cars.
Shares are Outperform rated at Cowen with a $34.00 price target.
Shares of Pandora surged following the company's December reports. Shares opened higher by around 5 percent at $29.10 and continued to gain throughout Monday morning and mid-afternoon trading session. Shares traded as high as $30.98 in the afternoon.
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