Live Nation Posts Q1 Loss Of $307M But Optimistic For ’21 And ’22 Concert Seasons

Live Nation Logo 2017
– Live Nation Logo 2017

Live Nation Entertainment Inc. on Thursday reported a loss of $307.2 million for the first fiscal quarter of the year, down from the same period in 2020 but with bright spots including sold-out festivals, continuing tour announcements for the rest of 2021 and 2022 tours so far outpacing 2019.

 The results, a loss of $1.44 per share, beat Wall Street expectations, which were a consensus of $1.66 per share according to Zacks Investment Research.  Revenue, at $290.6 million, was down 79% on last year’s $1.36 billion on the quarter, which largely took place before the pandemic hit.  Ticketing revenue on the period was down 90% over last year., at $28.3 million vs. 2020’s $284.3 million. 
The company’s share price dropped $3.65 on the day, but at $75.12 per share had more than rebounded since hitting a low around $30 in March of 2020. It’s a remarkable feat for a company so dependent on live music as one of the businesses most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, nearly keeping pace with a bullish greater U.S. stock market.  LYV shares have risen 2% since the beginning of the year and 95% in the last 12 months. The company’s current market capitalization is $16.4 billion. 
Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino noted strong fan demand, easing restrictions and robust vaccination efforts across the U.S., new ticketing and branding partnerships. and $750 million in cost reduction and $1.5 billion in cash management program targets in 2021. 
“As we get further clarity on reopening timelines, we are announcing more tours for later this summer, including Dave Matthews, Luke Bryan, Maroon 5 and others to come, showing artists’ increasing confidence in performing this summer,” Rapino said in the earnings release. “Given the longer lead times associated with global arena and stadium tours, we expect these will start later this year and into 2022. We are already seeing confirmed major tour dates for 2022 up double digits from the same time pre-pandemic in 2019 for 2020. Many of these artists will have multi-year tours, spanning the U.S., Europe and often either Asia or Latin America, setting us up for a strong multi-year growth run.”
During the call it was announced CFO Kathy Willard was retiring after a tenure with the company that saw the concerts giant go public on the New York Stock Exchange as well as acquire Ticketmaster. Her retirement is effective June 30, with Live Nation President Joe Berchtold taking on the role of CFO while maintaining his role as president. Willard will consult on the transition and remain as an advisor to Live Nation’s management team.