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Pandora Upgrade Can't Cover the Sour Notes

Stocks in this article: P AAPL

Apple (AAPL) has also entered the picture with its iTunes Radio. Other competitors, like Rdio, are smaller players but can't be counted out of the running.

While this competition has heated up in recent months, TheStreet's Rocco Pendola in recent articles has argued that Pandora is stuck in its thinking, particularly with regard to potential uses of its trove of user and song data. In Pendola's opinion, the company should have a major push to marry record labels and artists with potential audiences, facilitating tours and shows. He also noted that recent moves by management seem more intent on preserving rather than growing the company's mission. Those moves include hiring CEO Brian McAndrews.

As Pendola related, McAndrews was given a private office, counter to the company's longstanding "open-office" policy. The symbolism of the change, suddenly deciding that the CEO needs to be isolated from his staff, implies that his mission (the new mission of the company) and the mission of the rank-and-file (the old mission of the company) are not entirely in sync.

Still Wedbush makes a valid point: Based on available metrics and a projected net worth of the company, the stock price is undervalued. Significantly, despite all the positive numbers the report cites, Wedbush didn't raise its price target for the stock, but left it at $35. That makes Pandora good for a buy, certainly, but whether that's a long-term proposition is another story.

The company's current leadership situation is certainly confusing. Followers have the sense that McAndrews was brought in for a specific purpose, but that purpose is shrouded, a major unknown. 

-- Written by Carlton Wilkinson in New York 

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