Pandora Media (P) just reported another better-than-expected quarter. And with shares down more than 20% so far this year headed into today's close, the stock's subsequent 11% pop in after-hours trading is music to investors' ears.
Revenue in Pandora's second quarter increased 30% year over year, to $285.6 million, including 37% growth in mobile revenue, to $229.7 million. For reference, that's just above the high-end of Pandora's guidance for total revenue in the range of $280 million to $285 million.
Meanwhile, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 29%, to $16.3 million, again significantly above Pandora's guidance for $8 million to $13 million. On the bottom line, adjusted net income came in at $11.6 million, or $0.05 per diluted share.
Analysts, on average, were anticipating adjusted earnings of just $0.02 per share, and lower revenue of $283.1 million.
On active listeners, loyalty
Pandora also ended the quarter with 79.4 million active listeners, up slightly from 79.2 million last quarter, and a 3.9% increase from 76.4 million in the same year-ago period. During the subsequent conference call, management once again reiterated its long-term goal of reaching at least 100 million listeners.
But more importantly, those listeners are increasingly loyal to Pandora, as total listener hours rose an even faster 5% year over year, to 5.30 billion. What's more, this growth in active listeners and their respective loyalty was achieved despite the fact that Apple notably offered consumers a three-month trial of Apple Music during the quarter. Some industry watchers had expressed concerns that Apple's widely publicized promotion could crimp Pandora's efforts to attract and retain listeners.
On investments in local advertising
Next, in my earnings preview, I also wondered whether Pandora's efforts to invest in local advertising -- specifically through its new programmatic buying solution and expanded sales force -- were bearing fruit.
As it turns out, Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews directly addressed that topic in today's press release, stating,
Our advertising investments, particularly in local, are paying off. This quarter, local ad revenue reached an all-time high, driving record RPMs. Our monetization success allows us to be an even more effective platform for helping artists grow their careers. In addition to our ability to provide insights to the entire music industry, we fuel promotion that is extremely valuable to music makers.
Advertising revenue still represents the bulk of Pandora's total, rising 30% year over year, to $230.9 million during the quarter. Within that, local advertising revenue led the way, growing 67% year over year, to $58.9 million, and increasing its share of overall ad revenue to 25.5%.
Pandora also offered revised guidance for both the third quarter and full year. For the third quarter, Pandora expects revenue of $310 million to $315 million, and adjusted EBITDA of $25 million to $30 million. Both ranges compare well to consensus estimates, which called for lower revenue of $309.2 million, and earnings of $0.10 per share.
Finally for the full year 2015, Pandora raised its revenue guidance to a range of $1.175 billion to $1.185 billion compared to its previous range of $1.16 billion to $1.18 billion. In addition, Pandora reiterated its previous expected range for adjusted EBITDA of $75 million to $85 million.
In the end, you'll be hard pressed to find an investor who doesn't like the sound of Pandora's latest quarter. From its growing listener base, improving monetization, and technology trends favoring its ad-supported, streaming music model, Pandora is wonderfully positioned to continue creating value for shareholders going forward.