Pandora plunges to $13 per share, but how about $4?

 
on June 16 2011 9:49 PM

 

Shares of Pandora (NYSE:SLV) got killed on Thursday.  They plunged nearly 24 percent from Wednesday’s closing to end at $13.26, which is also 17 percent below its IPO price of $16.

For retail investors who bought the Pandora hype right on the IPO pop, at around $20 per share, Wednesday’s decline takes their investments down about 33 percent.

Some analysts, however, think Pandora is worth even less than that.  Much less.

Richard Greenfield of BTIG Equity Research thinks the profits Pandora will generate will be only worth between $4 to $5 per share.

Meanwhile, Morningstar has Pandora valued at $6 per share.

Pandora has no competitive advantages and the valuation is crazy,” Morningstar analyst Rick Summer told Reuters.

Pandora is currently unprofitable.  While analysts like Greenfield thinks it’ll eventually turn profitable, its profit margins probably won’t be that high because it has to pay record labels for each song it plays to customers for free.

Moreover, it hasn’t quite figured out a more lucrative way to monetize mobile traffic, which is likely the future of online radio.

It’s not that Pandora is inherently incompetent.  Rather, it’s in the extremely difficult business of making money from music content.  Savvy artists like 50 Cent and Lady Gaga have realized this difficulty.  In response, they’ve moved on to merchandising opportunities to supplement their income.

Meanwhile, Pandora is trying to convince investors that its business of aggregating and taking a slice of this squeezed industry is worth billions of dollars.

 

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