Live Nation Q2 Earnings Preview

Live Nation Entertainment is expected to report break-even earnings for its second quarter on Monday even with a slight uptick in revenue as it grapples with a strategy of promoting fewer, more profitable shows.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: What the concert promoter says about the summer season, its busiest time of year.

Ticket sales revenue for the top 100 acts in North America in the first half of the year was up 16 percent to $1.12 billion, after a dismal 2010.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Ben Mogil has said that Live Nation sold 2 million fewer tickets in the first six months at 7.8 million, as it reduced the number of shows it put on and cut into a glut of low-priced and unsold tickets.

That helped boost ticket prices for the top 100 acts by 10 percent to an average of $67.02.

How those changes translate into profits will be reflected in Live Nation’s second-quarter results.

WHY IT MATTERS: Ticket sales and concert attendance numbers should give some indication of how consumers are spending their discretionary cash. Most tickets are sold in advance, so Live Nation’s third-quarter outlook should also reflect current economic trends.

WHAT’S EXPECTED: Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect Live Nation to break even on a per-share basis on revenue of $1.31 billion.

LAST YEAR’S QUARTER: Live Nation lost 20 cents per share on revenue of $1.27 billion.