October 23, 2014 / 8:50 PM / in 5 years

Fewer-than-expected listeners tune in to Pandora in third quarter

(Reuters) - Pandora Media Inc P.N, operator of the leading Internet radio service, reported a lower-than-expected increase in listeners in the third quarter, sending the company’s shares down 6 percent in extended trading on Thursday.

Traders work at the kiosk where Pandora internet radio is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange June 15, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Pandora said it had 76.5 million active listeners as of Sept. 30, an increase of 5.2 percent from a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, had expected 76.7 million, according to market research firm StreetAccount.

Total listener hours rose to 4.99 billion from 3.99 billion, but again fell short of the average estimate of 5.02 billion.

Pandora’s profit and revenue both beat market expectations, however, as more people listened to streamed music on their mobile phones.

Mobile revenue increased 52 percent to $188 million, while local advertising revenue rose 118 percent to $41.8 million.

Despite its huge user base, Pandora faces stiff competition from Spotify, Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) Beats online streaming service, Google Inc (GOOG.O), and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) in the fast-growing music streaming business.

The company posted an adjusted profit of 9 cents per share, on revenue of $239.6 million.

Analysts on average expected earnings of 8 cents per share on revenue of $238.49 million according Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Pandora raised its full year revenue forecast to $912 million-$917 million, from $895-$915 million.

The company also increased its adjusted net profit estimate to 19-21 cents per share from 16-19 cents.

Pandora’s shares were trading at $21.72 after the bell, after closing at $23.12.

Reporting by Amrutha Penumudi in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Ted Kerr

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