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Pandora shares fall ahead of Apple announcement

The Associated Press

Pandora Media Inc.'s shares sank Monday on the anticipation that Apple Inc. will unveil a competing music streaming service.

THE SPARK: Apple is expected to reveal a digital radio service Monday at the opening of its annual conference for software developers.

THE BIG PICTURE: Apple hasn't said what it will reveal at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. But this is often a time when the company unveils new products or services.

The company currently uses iTunes, where people can buy and download music, as its option to get music to Apple customers. But streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify have become more popular as an alternative for listening to music.

Pandora's shares have been taking a beating for some time on the expected debut. A service such as this could further cement Apple as a leader in digital music and cut into Pandora's status as the most-listened-to Internet radio service.

THE ANALYSIS: BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward Williams reiterated his "Outperform" rating on Pandora's stock, saying that while the competitive landscape may be more intense, the company's broad and growing base of users gives it a unique position that would be hard to replicate.

SHARE ACTION: Pandora shares fell 23 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $14.89 by midday. Its stock had been climbing this year until the end of May when it took a small dive on competitive concerns. However its shares remain in the middle of their 52-week trading range of $7.08 to $19.37.

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