Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) surged by as much as 11.4% early Friday, then settled to trade up around 7% as of 3:30 p.m. following rumors the online music streaming specialist could be an acquisition target.
So what: Specifically, industry sources say Jay Z might be among Pandora's list of potential buyers -- an interesting assertion considering Jay Z only recently secured approval of his $56 million acquisition of Swedish streaming service Aspiro, which is known in the U.S. as TidalHifi. Among other potentially interested parties named were Facebook and Google. Remember, Google notably acquired Songza last year in a bid to bolster the music curation abilities of its Google Play Music service.
Now what: This speculation isn't entirely surprising. Even after today's pop, Pandora stock is still down around 9% so far in 2015, and has fallen more than 50% over the past year amid concerns of slowing growth in active listeners. However, Pandora's latest quarter report actually broke its streak of decelerating growth, with active listeners rising a modest 7% year over year to 81.5 million. Those users were increasingly more loyal to Pandora as well, with active listener hours increasing 15% over the same period to 5.2 billion -- an impressive feat given its ever-increasing competition.
For now, that's why I suggest investors pay little attention to buyout chatter, and instead continue to focus on the strength of Pandora's actual business. If an acquisition occurs, then so be it. But these kinds of rumors should not be a central part of your thesis for buying Pandora stock.