Rapino Talks, Wall Street Listens

Live Nation stock took a sudden jump Jan. 8, right after CEO Michael Rapino gave a presentation to investors that the company doesn’t see any weakness in ticket sales for 2009.

Rapino presented at the Citi Global Entertainment, Media & Telecommunications Conference in Phoenix, where he said fourth-quarter sales held steady from a year ago.

“We don’t see it yet,” Rapino said, according to Reuters. Stock immediately climbed 18 percent to $6.39 a share.
Live Nation sold 2.91 million tickets for 1,213 shows for the year, ending Dec. 15, Reuters reported, compared with 2.95 million from 1,206 shows in 2007.

“You can’t have those numbers sitting here today and say no one’s going to show up next year; we’d have felt something by now,” he said.

Investors were concerned that fewer fans would pay to see their favorite artists in a recession. Rapino noted average ticket prices for big-name shows dropped from $75.34 in ’07 to $68.18.

“In our business we don’t mind if a price of a ticket goes down; our job is to get as many bums in seats as possible,” he reportedly noted.