Pandora stock zooms higher as analyst identifies podcast potential

  • Shares of Pandora jumped over 4 percent in middday trading Thursday.
  • BMO Capital Markets says Pandora's move to grow "non-music content," such as podcasts, could be key in reversing this year's steady stock price decline.
  • The firm says that Pandora's changes to its business model "are being underappreciated."
Source: Bose

Shares of Pandora jumped over 4 percent in middday trading trading Thursday after BMO Capital Markets upgraded its outlook on shares of the music streaming company.

Pandora's move to grow "non-music content," such as podcasts, is a key part of the company's attempt to reverse its steady share price decline, the analyst said. Pandora's stock has fallen more than 62 percent this year through Wednesday's close, according to FactSet.

"Up until now, Pandora has primarily been focused on recorded music and has offered limited forms of other content," BMO analyst Daniel Salmon wrote in a note. "Pandora now plans to expand the content available and we expect this to accelerate in 2018."

Pandora reported mixed results earlier this month, as active listeners declined slightly more than expected. CEO Roger Lynch told investors "there's no silver bullet that's going to come in and solve these problems," emphasizing that investments in advertising would begin to have an effect next year.

Salmon says that Pandora's changes to its business model "are being underappreciated." He cited music industry executives who have said they are optimistic about the potential growth of audio advertisements next year.

He said investors are also overlooking the success of Pandora's subscription offerings. Salmon says the streaming service has stronger revenue than both the firm and Wall Street expected in the last quarter. Pandora Premium now has more than one million subscribers.