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Why Pandora Media, Inc. Stock Dropped 10.1% Friday

By Steve Symington - Feb 8, 2016 at 8:59AM

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The music streaming company fell on new news ahead of this week's report. Here's what investors need to know.

What: Shares of Pandora Media (P) fell 10.2% Friday on no company-specific news.

So what: Rather, the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 3.3% on Friday, dragging several other previously high-flying tech stocks down with it in the process. But it's no mystery Pandora isn't exactly on Wall Street's good graces, especially after the music streaming specialist surprised investors by revealing a sequential decline in active listeners to 79.4 million in its third-quarter report. For that, Pandora blamed the widely publicized launch of Apple Music in June, stoking investors' fears that the competing service would crimp Pandora's long-term plans to grow its domestic listener base to at least 100 million people.

Now what: Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews insisted the impact should only be temporary, and likened it to the strikingly similar drop in listeners caused by the launch of Apple Radio in 2013. Nonetheless, investors will be listening closely for clarity in Pandora's fourth-quarter call this coming Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016.

On that note, on Friday MKM Partners analyst Rob Sanderson did weigh in ahead of the report, outlining his expectation for modest 3% growth in listener hours to 5.4 billion and 2% year-over-year growth in active listeners to 83.1 million during the holiday quarter. Even so, Sanderson went on, "There is limited visibility on earnings power and no valuation support on near-term earnings."

To be sure, it'll be tough for Pandora to find favor with investors until it provides such visibility. So, in the meantime, don't be surprised if Pandora stock continues to endure these kinds of volatile swings.

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Pandora Media. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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