Pandora raises IPO target to $200 million

@CNNMoneyTech June 10, 2011: 9:23 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Internet radio site Pandora is taking advantage of the suddenly booming IPO market for tech companies: It now expects to raise up to $200 million in its upcoming initial public offering, the company said Friday.

Pandora raised its price target to a range of $10 and $12 dollars per share on a planned offering of over 16 million shares, according to amended documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company, which has yet to turn a profit, first filed to go public in February. At the time, Pandora expected to raise $100 million.

Then, on June 2, Pandora raised its target price range to $7 to $9 per share for an offering worth $142 million.

The steady increases are a sign that the IPO's underwriters -- Citigroup (C, Fortune 500), Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500) and JP Morgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) are the leaders -- anticipate heavy demand for the company's shares.

Two of those underwriters, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan Chase, faced heavy criticism last month for their IPO pricing of another much-buzzed-about tech company, LinkedIn (LNKD). Shares priced at $45 quickly rose above $90 in open trading, meaning LinkedIn missed the chance to collect millions that instead went to those who received shares at the IPO price.

With Pandora, the bankers are more actively increasing its planned IPO price.

The Oakland, Calif., company's business is growing fast, averaging a new user every second. As of last April, Pandora had 90 million registered members, up from 80 million in February. Those members racked up 3.8 billion hours of listening to Pandora's song stream last year.

Founded in 2000 as the Music Genome Project, Pandora uses algorithms and user feedback to generate music recommendations for its listeners.

The company claims a 50% share of all Internet radio listening time among the top 20 stations and networks in the United States, according to a November 2010 report by audience measurement firm Ando Media.

Pandora offers listeners two options: A free, advertising-supported stream or a "premium" plan priced at $36 per year, which offers higher audio quality and no ads.

The New York Stock Exchange symbol that Pandora proposed is "P" -- a bold move, since one-letter symbols are typically reserved for industry giants.

Pandora is poised to IPO at a moment when investors are clamoring for shares in buzzed-around tech companies. Shares of data storage company Fusion-io (FIO) rose 18% on Thursday in an IPO that raised $234 million for the company.

Fast-growing daily deals site Groupon filed last week for a public offering to raise up to $750 million, and telecom equipment maker Avaya filed Thursday for a $1 billion IPO. Online game developer Zynga is also expected to file IPO paperwork shortly.  To top of page

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