The Pandora (NYSE:P) IPO is officially underwater. It has plunged 15 percent from Wednesday’s closing and is now trading at $14.80, below the IPO price of $16.00.
So are retail investors just down 7.5 percent ($16.00 to $14.80)? Not likely, because retail investor can’t actually buy it at the IPO price (that’s reserved for institutional players).
Instead, they likely bought after the opening IPO pop, for as much as $20 per share. From that level, some retail investors are out 26 percent.
Why did people (including retail investors) chase Pandora?
One reason is the name recognition. Pandora has at least 80 million registered users and at least 30 million active users.
Another is chasing IPO pops because some recent tech IPOs have done extremely well on the first day or two of trading.
Dangdang (NYSE:DANG), for example, soared nealy 100 percent at the end of its second day of trading from the IPO price.
Unfortunately for Pandora investors, Pandora’s IPO is met with broad market weakness on its second day of trading, especially in the tech sector; LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) is down nearly 8 percent, Dangdang plunged over 8 percent, and Amazon.com (AMZN) fell over 2 percent.
More importantly, it seems that some Pandora investors might have had no intention of holding on to the shares.
Pandora isn’t profitable at the time of its IPO. A key reason is that it’s in the notoriously tough business of extracting money from music content. With unwilling (and pirating) customers on one side and music labels on the other, Pandora seems to be stuck in a tough position in the middle.