Pandora Pops Again on High Demand, Court Win

Joel Anderson |

Stock in internet radio company Pandora (P) rose over 7 percent today, gradually gaining ground as the day wore on. The company’s stock has been on a roll, with 11 straight days of gains since its last down day on September 4. The most likely reasons for the continued gains are higher-than-expected demand for shares in their recently-announced stock offering as well as news that the company had won its court battle with the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) over songwriting royalties.

Major Offering Sparks Major Interest

Pandora announced on Monday that it was offering some 10 million new shares with shareholder Crosslink Capital, Inc. offering another 4 million. The partners then announced today that they would be boosting the size of that offer by 30 percent to some 18.2 million shares, priced at $25 apiece. Pandora currently has just 176.4 million outstanding shares.

Court Victory Over ASCAP

Pandora also celebrated news of a court victory over the ASCAP. The ruling means that Pandora is entitled to license any and all songs in the ASCAP catalog and specific publishers like Universal (CMCSA) and BMG (SNE) can’t negotiate separately for higher royalties. The ruling, though, only affects royalties paid to songwriters, which are a fraction of those paid to performers. Still, it represents a victory in Pandora’s efforts to control costs.

"We welcome the court's decision," said Pandora's assistant general counsel Chris Harrison in a statement. "We hope this will put an end to the attempt by certain ASCAP-member publishers to unfairly and selectively withhold their catalogs from Pandora."

ASCAP was disappointed in the ruling, though.

"Songwriters deserve fair pay for their hard work," said ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento.

Pandora is on a Role

Pandora reached another record high as it continued to push into new territory. Since market close on September 4 (when shares dipped 3.24 percent), Pandora’s risen by over 50 percent, increasing the company’s market cap by over $1.5 billion in just two weeks. These recent gains also mean the stock has nearly doubled in value since the start of the year.

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