LN, TM Release Q4 Results
Live Nation delivered its first financial report since its merger with Ticketmaster and while LYV showed an increase in revenue of $95.7 million for the year ended Dec. 31, its fourth quarter was down $42.4 million, or 4.7 percent, from the same period one year ago.
International music drove the increase with an increase of $120.5 million, or 59.3 percent, while North American music dropped $172.5 million for a 25 percent drop in revenue.
The drop wasn’t wholly unexpected, however. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a loss of 53 cents per share on roughly $811 million in sales.
Operating losses shrank to $64 million from $323 million. Ticketmaster’s revenue grew 7 percent to $409 million and turned a $35 million operating profit, reversing a loss of $1.07 billion.
During the earnings call, Rapino pointed out the company is “comfortably in compliance” with its debt covenants. That should be reassuring news for investors, given the combined company’s debt totaled $1.55 billion.
Live Nation and Ticketmaster reported their units separately, and the earnings call featured a surprise appearance from Barry Diller, who thanked CEO Michael Rapino and Executive Chairman Irving Azoff for taking the company forward after TM’s spinoff from InterActiveCorp.
Diller declared he’d tried and “of course, I failed” to lead Ticketmaster and attributed the company’s current position to the efforts of Rapino and Azoff. He also singled out Liberty Media’s John Malone – who drove an effort for his company to acquire up to 35 percent of the merged Live Nation Entertainment – for showing confidence in the business by tendering the offer in the first place.
Rapino said that the company will concentrate in the coming months on moving tickets from its CTS Eventim platform to Ticketmaster’s. Sounding a bit testy responding to questions about LNE’s relationship with the European ticketer, Rapino said “we have been using CTS for the last year, and we haven’t been satisfied or thrilled with results.”
He added that “contractually, in the U.S., we can us any system we want. Ticketmaster is superior, so we will use that. Will continue to pay annual fees to CTS per our contract.”
Shares of Live Nation Entertainment Inc. were unchanged in extended trading after the release of results.