Shares of Pandora Media, the online music service, fell the most in a month after posting February listener data that missed some analysts' estimates and saying it plans to discontinue the monthly reports.
Oakland-based Pandora fell 2.2 percent to $37.23 in Thursday's trading after being down as much as 7.3 percent, the most since Feb. 6. The stock had risen 48 percent this year as of Wednesday
February listener hours rose 9.4 percent to 1.51 billion from 1.38 billion a year earlier, Pandora said Thursday in a statement. That was the slowest growth reported by the company and may hinder its ability to gain a larger share of the $16 billion radio advertising business, according to Bloomberg Industries research.
The results were "modestly below" the expectations of John Blackledge, Cowen & Co. analyst who had an outperform rating on the stock, the equivalent of a buy recommendation.
The slowing growth may be temporary, Pandora Chief Executive Officer Brian McAndrews said Thursday at a conference sponsored by Morgan Stanley. Efforts that partly caused the slowdown, including limits on free streaming, are over, he said.
Pandora said its last monthly data report will be provided in June 2014 and that it will continue to furnish audience metrics on a quarterly basis.
"Given recent changes in the marketplace, including Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics Local recently achieving Media Rating Council Accreditation, Pandora believes advertisers can now access the necessary tools to make accurate side-by-side comparisons," the company said.
Pandora said its share of total U.S. radio listening at the end of February rose to 8.9 percent from 8.3 percent a year earlier. Active listeners totaled 75.3 million, up 11 percent from 67.7 million a year earlier.