Warner’s Surprising Gains

While Warner Music Group recently posted that first quarter revenues slipped 11 percent to $878 million from the prior-year quarter, the company highlighted growth in the digital music sector and gains from investments in a conference call Feb. 5.

The company said it earned $23 million, or 15 cents per share, compared with losses of $16 million, or 11 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

WMG chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. told investors the company remains confident it can achieve long-term goals despite tough economic conditions and prior-year comparisons.

“We continue to develop new music business solutions and maintain our digital leadership position, while managing costs, gaining share and delivering strong returns on A&R investments,” Bronfman said.

WMG’s digital revenues grew 20.4 percent to $171 million from the one year ago and now represent 19.5 percent of the company’s total revenue.

The Q1 results also included gains of 24 cents per share from the company’s sale of its minority stake in Front Line Management last year.

International revenues declined 4.9 percent, but improved 5.1 percent on a constant currency basis, the company said, with growth throughout Europe.

WMG shares spiked 24 percent to close at $2.49 the day of the report, but that price still pales in comparison to the company’s 52-week high of $9.05, set last May.