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Pandora's 4Q beats expectations, stock jumps

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Pandora Media Inc.'s shares jumped in after-hours trading Thursday after the Internet radio company's fourth-quarter financial results came in ahead of market expectations.

The Oakland, Calif.-based company also said that it will start looking for a successor for its long-time CEO Joseph Kennedy.

Kennedy, 53, has served as chairman, CEO and president since 2004. He said it was the right time to start planning for the transition. He will continue in his role until a successor is named.

Pandora reported after the stock market closed that it lost $14.6 million, or 9 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Jan. 31. That is compared with a loss of $8.2 million, or 5 cents per share, in the same quarter of the prior year. On an adjusted basis, the company had a loss of 4 cents per share.

Pandora's revenue increased to $125.1 million from $81.3 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet were anticipating the company would lose 5 cents per share on $122.8 million in revenue.

The company said that its total listener hours climbed 53 percent to 4.05 billion hours compared to the same period a year before. That same measure increased 42 percent for February to 1.38 billion.

Pandora also forecast a first-quarter loss of 10 cents to 13 cents per share on an adjusted basis. It expects revenue between $120 million and $125 million for the period. Analysts had forecast a loss of 10 cents per share on revenue $118.6 million.

The company said that for the full year it may have a loss of 5 cents per share on up to a profit of 5 cents per share on an adjusted basis. It expects revenue in the range of $600 million to $620 million. Analysts were forecasting a loss of 1 cent per share on revenue of $601.9 million.

Shares increased $2.46, or 21 percent, to $14.19 in after-hours trading. They added 6 cents to close regular trading at $11.73.