Investors Pump Up the Volume on Pandora IPO

All hell is breaking lose in the debut of Pandora’s stock.

In what some may consider to be Round 2 of the neo-tech-bubble era, shares of the Oakland-based streaming music are currently at $20 and change, up about 26 percent from the opening price of $16 on the NYSE.

From CNBC this morning:

Pandora Media’s lack of profitability didn’t stop investors from tuning in to the Internet radio stock, boosting its price as much as 50 percent in its market debut Wednesday. Pandora sold its initial public offering of stock at $16 per share late Tuesday, twice as much as the popular but unprofitable Internet radio service expected less than two weeks ago.

And from the Oakland Tribune:

Since being founded in 2000 by Tim Westergren, Pandora has lost $92 million and has never turned a profit. Analysts think Pandora would have to be in the black by next year to justify a $16 stock price.

Last month, shares of another Bay Area web company, LinkedIn, debuted with a bang-and-a-half, hitting a high of $122.70. LinkedIn is currently trading at about $75.

If you invested in Pandora today and are feeling some buyers remorse, don’t worry — CEO Joe Kennedy thinks the company is awesome:

Even better than the soaring stock price: The company somehow managed to snag the ticker symbol “P”. How does a profitless, NYSE rookie land that single consonant? Sort of like some Giants’ rookie coming up from AAA and being given the number 24.

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Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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