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Pandora shares rise on listener growth

The Associated Press

Shares of Pandora Media Inc. rose Wednesday after the Internet radio service said the amount of time people spent listening to its service rose in November from a year ago.

THE SPARK: Users spent 1.49 billion hours listening to Pandora in November, the company said. That's up 18 percent from 1.27 billion hours in the same month a year ago. Active listeners rose to 72.4 million last month, a 16 percent rise from 62.4 million in November 2012.

THE BACKGROUND: The numbers are a sign that users are sticking with Pandora despite increased competition. Rivals include Apple Inc., Spotify and Google Inc.

Apple launched iTunes Radio in September, but Pandora Chief Financial Officer Mike Herring told The Associated Press in November that the impact was "modest."

ANALYSIS: Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said monthly metrics "highlight Pandora's ability to gain share and listeners" despite competition.

Pachter said in a note to clients that he expects "strong" numbers from Pandora in December when "listeners tune into its holiday stations."

SHARE ACTION: Up 74 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $29.01 in afternoon trading Wednesday. Its shares are up over 200 percent from a year ago, when they were worth $9.45.