The stock market reached new highs Friday as the Dow Jones surpassed 14,000 for the first time since 2007, but music-related stocks have performed even better recently. Shares of Pandora, Live Nation and Sirius XM are up between 11.8% and 24.7% in the first 32 days of the year. In comparison, year-to-date the Dow Jones is up 6.7%, the S&P 500 is up 6% and the Nasdaq is up 5%.
Pandora is up 24.7% this year and is up 61.7% over its 52-week low set in November. Its Friday close of $11.45 is still well below its 52-week high of $15.25, however. The rise of Pandora nearly matches that of Facebook, another advertising-based company whose fortunes also depend on its ability to monetize its users' increasing mobile usage. Facebook is up about 55% since November. A drop could be right around the corner, however. Apple is likely to introduce its Internet radio service some time this year. Whether or not Apple will be a long-term Internet radio competitor, investors are all but guaranteed to send Pandora's share price down when Apple's service launches.
Live Nation shares closed at $10.41 Friday, up 11.8% this year and 17.9% over the last 6 months. The stock price got a boost when Irving Azoff left the company on December 31 and sold a portion of his shares to Liberty Media. It also got a small lift in January when Live Nation announced the hire of an SVP of Government Relations who formerly worked for eBay, the owner of Live Nation’s adversary in various states' ticketing legislation, StubHub. Investors seemed to be reacting to the hire's potential impact on legislation that could be financially beneficial to Ticketmaster.
Sirius XM is up 11.8% this year and is up 50.2% over the last 6 months. The stock closed at a 52-week high of $3.23 on Friday. Sirius XM has been rising ever since it reported Q2 earnings and raised its 2012 guidance on August 8. In December, the stock was helped a little by the Copyright Royalty Board's rate decision and the company's announcement of a $2 billion share buyback plan. Shares dipped slightly after Liberty Media gained majority control of the company but have since rebounded. Another possible factor: short Sirius XM investors -- there are a lot of them these days -- are covering their losses and driving up the price.