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Pandora Posts Surprise Profit as Sales Exceed Estimates

Pandora Media Inc., the Internet radio service that first sold shares to the public in June, posted a surprise third-quarter profit, as sales of $75 million beat analysts’ estimates.

Net income of $638,000, or breakeven per share, compared with a loss of $1.77 million a year earlier, the Oakland, California-based company said today in a statement. Excluding some items, profit of 2 cents beat the average 1-cent loss projected by 13 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

More advertisers are seeking to reach Pandora’s mobile listeners, who account for a majority of the service’s customers, Chief Executive Officer Joe Kennedy said in an interview. About half of Pandora’s $66 million in third-quarter advertising sales came from mobile users, a “triple-digit” increase from a year ago, he said.

“We continued to see really strong growth in mobile advertising,” Kennedy said.

Sales almost doubled from $37.7 million a year ago, outstripping the $71.6 million average of analysts’ estimates.

Pandora fell 3.8 percent to $11.40 in extended trading after the report. The stock retreated 5.4 percent to $11.85 at the close in New York trading and has lost 26 percent since its June 14 initial public offering at $16.

The company said it provided 2.1 billion hours of programming in the period, more than double a year ago.

Pandora ended the quarter with $90.8 million in cash, compared with $95.3 million three months earlier. In the quarter, Pandora generated about $111,000 in cash from operating activities, compared with $163,000 a year ago.

The company expects $80 million to $84 million in revenue this quarter, compared with the $82.8 million average of 11 analysts estimates. Pandora projects a loss of 2 cents to 4 cents, excluding items, in the period.

Full-year, Pandora expects revenue of $273 million to $277 million, compared with analysts’ estimates of $272.5 million, and a per-share loss of 2 cents to 5 cents, excluding items.

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