Pandora shares soar more than 60% in debut

Internet radio company's stock hits $26 after being priced at $16

Photo credit:REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (Reuters)

It hasn't gotten the pop many people expected -- yet, anyway -- but Internet radio company Pandora Media (NYSE: P) soared to $26 a share shortly after the bell Wednesday in its Wall Street debut.

Pandora priced its shares Tuesday night at $16, the second price increase in a week. About 14.7 million shares are being sold -- 6 million by the company and the rest by existing shareholders.

(Also see: Only excitable rubes buy Internet IPO shares on Day 1)

After the initial rush by overzealous investors to buy overpriced shares abated, Pandora fell as low as 19.70. By 11 a.m. it was selling at 20.84, with more than 22 million shares having traded hands.

Based on LinkedIn's IPO last month -- in which shares quickly reached 122.70, nearly triple the $45 offer price -- I thought Pandora had a decent chance to top $40 at some point Wednesday. That's looking unlikely now, but the day's not over yet.

Maybe enough investors paid heed to warnings about Pandora's ongoing losses and an anticipated increase in music royalty rates to stay on the sidelines for opening day. Good choice, I'd say.

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