Shares of Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE:P) were up 12.6% as of 2:15 p.m. EST Friday following reports the music-streaming specialist is open to a sale.
Citing "people familiar with the matter," CNBC revealed early today that Pandora Media is open to selling its business. More specifically, Pandora is willing to consider holding acquisition talks with satellite music juggernaut Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI), as well as other potential suitors.
But that's not entirely surprising. This past July, The Wall Street Journal reported that Pandora had rebuffed an informal $15-per-share offer from Sirius XM parent Liberty Media.
Even after today's pop, shares of Pandora now trade at just below $13 per share. Pandora shareholders definitely have had a rough couple of months on the heels of Pandora's weaker-than-expected third-quarter results in October, which were punctuated by steep competition and a persistent lull in national advertising that's holding back the company's top-line growth.
To be fair, Pandora has worked feverishly toward improving its cost structure and building new revenue streams outside of advertising, including a new version of its Pandora Plus subscription service launched in September, new direct-licensing agreements with dozens of independent labels and music distributors, its acquisition of TicketFly last year, and the impending launch of a $9.99-per-month on-demand music service called Pandora Premium by the end of this year.
The collective potential of these products could sweeten the pot as Pandora seeks a price for its business that's as high as possible. But investors should also remember that there's no guarantee an actual deal will materialize. In fact, as a long-term-oriented investor myself, I can't help but hope Pandora will opt to succeed on its own and realize the full potential of its compelling long-term growth story.
But for now, as short-term investors turn their ears toward the alluring prospect of a hefty buyout premium, it's no surprise to see shares of Pandora trading higher today.