WMG Posts 2Q Loss

Warner Music Group posted a second-quarter loss May 5th but still beat Wall Street expectations.

WMG recorded losses from music publishing despite a rise in recorded music sales. The quarterly loss totaled $7 million versus a $4 million profit for the second quarter a year ago. Revenue was $796 million, up from $767 million.

Net income included a $39 million unrealized gain on warrants issued to former parent company Time Warner, and music publishing revenue dropped 16 percent to $129 million.

Revenue from recorded music rose 9 percent to $676 million and digital music accounted for 13 percent of the total, almost tripling last year’s second quarter figure.

Despite its recent rejection of a buyout offer from EMI for $4.2 billion, Warner is still dancing with its rival.

“EMI has worked hard to build its U.S. businesses without much success, and Warner has really cut back overseas, so there’s an opportunity to combine those strengths and still reduce overhead,” Pali Capital analyst Richard Greenfield told the Lost Angeles Times. “Getting bigger is better.”

Wall Street was expecting a loss of 16 cents per share on revenue for WMG’s second quarter. After the 2Q report was released, the company’s shares rose 56 cents, or 2 percent, to $29.30 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.