Wall Street Watch Thursday: TiVo Gets a Thumbs-Up

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tivoThere are more people firing up their TiVo (TIVO) boxes these days.

The DVR pioneer posted encouraging news on the subscriber front after Wednesday's market close. TiVo now watches over 2.7 million subscribers, 41% ahead of where it was a year ago after gaining 230,000 net accounts during its fiscal fourth quarter that ended in July.

The news isn't all good, though. The only reason TiVo is growing its audience is that it has struck deals with cable providers and other pay TV services around the world. That TiVo patent portfolio is pretty powerful stuff.

TiVo-owned subscribers -- the number of DVR buffs dealing directly with the company -- actually fell slightly during the quarter.

Results are also mixed when we turn to the income statement. Service and technology revenue grew by 10% to $54.3 million, but TiVo posted another quarterly loss. The red ink isn't a surprise. Analysts were counting on a deficit, and it's what the company has served up in 14 of its past 15 quarters.

The market was still generally pleased with the report.

TiVo sees another loss for the current quarter, but it's also eyeing healthy sequential improvement on the top line. It's also still keeping its legal eagles busy. Its patent infringement trial against Verizon's (VZ) FiOS starts in October.

It's still not a perfect report. It would be great if the investors could blast through the net losses and net defections of TiVo-owned subscribers the way that TiVo owners blast through commercials on recorded shows. However, in the end, general improvement sure beats watching reruns.

Other things worth watching

• Pandora (P) is rocking. The leading music and comedy streaming service delivered better-than-expected results. The dot-com speedster posted breakeven results on a 51% top-line surge on Wednesday night. Analysts were settling for a small loss. Pandora served up 3.3 billion hours of audio content during the quarter. That's a lot of eardrums! The music discovery website operator's outlook for the current quarter is also ahead of where Wall Street was perched.

• TiVo and Pandora may have initially pleased the market, but Vera Bradley (VRA) was sent packing. The maker of fashionable travel bags and accessories posted a nearly 19% uptick in revenue, but analysts weren't prepared to see the company post a year-over-year decline in profitability. I guess that means that it will be a bumpy flight.

Longtime Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article.



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