Update: Live Nation Shares Soar After Q2 Report

The average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 19 cents per share.

Live Nation posted revenue of $2.82 billion in the period, up 29 percent and also surpassing Street forecasts. Nine analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $2.35 billion.

Live Nation Logo 2017
– Live Nation Logo 2017

Operating revenue also saw a 53 percent jump in operating income and adjusted operating income of 22 percent.

In addition to healthy growth in all three segments during the quarter, Live Nation reports selling more than 68 million tickets to events on the year to date through July, 12 million more tickets than at the same time last year.

The company reports promoting more than 7,000 shows for some 24 million fans for an increase of 5.5 million from Q2 2016. In just the concerts division, revenue increased 34 percent, operating income to $38 million, and AOI by 51 percent to $88 million.

During the after-hours earnings call with investors, Live Nation COO Joe Berchtold attributed at least some of the high numbers to a “timing shift” of fans attending amphitheatre shows in the second quarter relative to last year. Traditionally, the third quarter is strongest in show attendance as summer comes to a close.

Live Nation reported improvement on the food and beverage front by increasing the number of points of sale at its venues and improving offerings. Live Nation President/CEO Michael Rapino said he expects ancillary spending per person to increase by $2 this year.

On the Ticketmaster front, Live Nation reported that by expanding TM’s listings to include secondary tickets to shows for which Ticketmaster is not the primary ticketer to same “checkout flow” the number of events listed rose by 35 percent, with 120 million fans using the company’s online sites per month.   

And with conversion on mobile sites, Ticketmaster is seeing a “strong shift in purchase behavior to mobile” with those sites and apps accounting for 31 percent of sales in the quarter, and 27 percent YTD.

Rapino also reported success with the Verified Fan rollout this year. “Since launching the product earlier this year, we have worked with 50 artists in the United States and Europe to sell over 1 milliont tickets to true fans, with a dramatic reduction in the s tickets then being sold on secondary sites,” Rapino said.

Live Nation shares have climbed 41 percent since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Wednesday, shares hit $37.50, an increase of 42 percent in the last 12 months. Investors apparently like what they heard – after-hours trading spike to all-time high territory of $39.50 at press time.