Pandora Media Loss to Exceed Analyst Estimates; Stock Falls

Pandora Media Inc. (P), the Internet radio pioneer, forecast fiscal first-quarter results that missed analysts’ projections because of a seasonal lull in advertising sales. The stock fell.

Sales this quarter will be $72 million to $75 million, Oakland, California-based Pandora said today in a statement. That’s short of the $86.4 million analysts projected. The company sees a loss, excluding items, of 18 cents to 21 cents a share, larger than the 2-cent loss estimated by analysts.

Consumer advertising sales in the first quarter will be the lowest of the year, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joe Kennedy said today in an interview. The company also experienced lower-than-expected sales in the quarter ended Jan. 31. Active listeners rose 62 percent to 47 million in 2011.

“We were a touch light of the high end of our guidance in terms of holiday ad spending,” Kennedy said.

Pandora fell as much as 16 percent to $12.04 in extended trading. The stock lost 2.7 percent to $14.27 at the close in New York and has climbed 43 percent this year.

The company reported a wider fourth-quarter net loss as sales missed analysts’ estimates. The loss in the period ended Jan. 31 increased to $8.17 million, or 5 cents a share, from a loss of $3.91 million, or 31 cents a year earlier, before the company went public, Pandora said.

Excluding items, Pandora lost 3 cents a share, more than the 2-cent average loss seen by 16 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Fourth-quarter sales rose 71 percent to $81.3 million, less than the $83 million average of 14 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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