There was good news and less good news for IAC/InterActiveCorp, the Barry Diller-controlled conglomerate and Ticketmaster parent company, in its third quarter financial report.
The less good news is that profits fell 4.2 percent in the third quarter. But the good news is that it was less than analysts expected. And, maybe tellingly, the well-publicized end of contract talks with Live Nation made no difference in the competitive position of TM’s box office service, according to the company.
"We have not really seen any change in the competitive environment in any way at all," IAC Chief Financial Officer Thomas McInerney said on an October 31st conference call to investors and reported by Reuters. "I think Ticketmaster’s position remains as it was."
Ticketmaster announced in August it was ending contract renegotiations with Live Nation, which reportedly accounts (along with its House of Blues subsidiary) for about 15-20 percent of TM’s revenue.
McInerney said TM was signing new clients to balance out the business. Referring to the LN revenue, he said, "You don’t replace that with one thing," adding, "We are getting new revenue streams in multiple places."
Improved performance by Home Shopping Network was cited, along with healthy quarters from TM and Ask.com, for the better-than-expected 3Q showing.
Revenue at Ticketmaster rose 13 percent as worldwide ticket sales rose 11 percent and revenue per ticket climbed 2 percent. The company expects Ticketmaster profit to be either flat or up slightly in the fourth quarter.
IAC 3Q profit fell to $71.8 million, or 24 cents per share, from $74.9 million last year. Revenue grew 7.4 percent to $1.52 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected earnings per share of 35 cents on revenue of $1.52 billion.
Income adjusted for taxes and other items rose to 37 cents a share, according to Bloomberg.com, which also estimated average profit of 35 cents per.