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Pandora shares soar in first day of trading

June 15, 2011|Bloomberg News
  • Pandora executives and managers ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate the company's first day of trading.
Pandora executives and managers ring the opening bell at the New York Stock… (Business Wire )

NEW YORK — Pandora Media Inc., the online-radio company, gained on its first day of trading as investors raced to benefit from the biggest surge in Internet share sales since the dot-com boom a decade ago.

The Oakland company rose 8.9 percent in its debut on the New York Stock Exchange, under the symbol P. It sold 14.7 million shares yesterday at $16 apiece, raising $234.9 million in its initial public offering. That was above the top of the range of $10 to $12.

Investors are flocking to technology IPOs after professional-networking website LinkedIn Corp. and Yandex NV, operator of Russia's biggest search engine, provided first-day gains of at least 55 percent last month. Pandora was especially alluring after it sold only about 9.2 percent of its shares outstanding, compared with an average float of 24 percent for U.S. technology IPOs in the past year.

"It's a small offering in a hot industry," said Josef Schuster, founder of Chicago-based IPOX Schuster LLC, which oversees about $2.5 billion and bought Pandora shares. "That makes it very easy to place a stock."

Pandora climbed $1.42 to close at $17.42 on its first trading day. But the stock pulled back from a high of $26 early in the session.

Pandora is among a dozen Internet companies to go public this year, the most in any year since 2000, at the height of the first wave of Web IPOs.

At the closing price, the company had a market value of about $2.8 billion, or about 20 times last year's sales, compared with about 2.7 times for Sirius XM Radio Inc., the subscription-based satellite-radio service. Sirius XM had a market value of about $7.7 billion as of yesterday's close.

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