Live Nation blew past its revenue record in the third quarter, reporting $8.2 billion in earnings, eclipsing the previous mark of $6.2 billion in the third quarter of 2022. That’s a 32 percent year-over-year increase as the company anticipates finishing the year with record revenues.
Two of the three best earnings reports in Live Nation Entertainment’s history have come in consecutive quarters. The company reported $5.6 billion in Q2.
Q3 represented yet another beat for LYV, with the analysts’ consensus pegged at $6.89 billion.
On the bottom line, LYV reported operating income of $618.5 million, up 22 percent against the same quarter in 2022. Earnings per share comes in at $1.78; the analysts’ consensus was $1.27.
“Today we delivered our strongest quarter ever and are on pace for a record 2023, driven in good part by the acceleration of structural growth in the live entertainment industry. While we have benefitted from tailwinds for many years, it has accelerated due to the globalization of our business along with a fundamental shift in consumer spending habits toward experiences,” Live Nation Entertainment president and CEO Michael Rapino said in a statement. “With the majority of opportunity still untapped from Milan to Bogotá to Tokyo and beyond, we expect the industry will continue growing in 2024 and for years to come.”
Live Nation reported strong year-over-year increases in all sectors, though, of course, concert revenue was, as ever, the main driver. The third quarter is, historically, the company’s strongest due to it coinciding with the summer touring and festival season.
This year, concert revenues neared $7 billion, climbing 32 percent over the same quarter last year to $6.974 billion. Live Nation said record attendance was fueled by strong growth across all price points, venue types and markets. Overall attendance is up 21 percent year-over-year. As was the case in Q2, international markets are driving much of that. Overseas, attendance is up 34 percent against 13 percent in North America. To some degree, that’s a reflection that international markets were often slower to return to full capacity after the pandemic.
More than 140 million tickets have been sold for Live Nation events year-to-date, a record. That figure surpasses even the full year total of 121 million from 2022.
On the venues side, Live Nation says per-caps at its operated amphitheaters are up 10 percent to $40 per-fan; the company said it is seeing double-digit increases at theaters and clubs, as well. On-site spending pushed per-fan profitability to double-digit increases, outpacing inflation. By year end, Live Nation expects 55 million attendees at operated venues, a 12 percent jump over 2022.
Sponsorship revenues are up 7 percent. The company expects full-year revenues to eclipse $1 billion, pointing to a new, multi-year international deal with Mastercard, announced early Thursday, which led to an early rush on LYV stock, driving to price up more than $2 after the announcement. Under the deal, eligible Mastercard cardholders will have access to presales, premium seats and VIP experiences in 19 countries including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Japan, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
Growth-wise, Ticketmaster was the winning sector, though. Revenue was up 57 percent to $833 million with 17 million net new client tickets, half of which come from overseas markets. Total fee-bearing global transaction value was up 36 percent to $10 billion.
The company’s capital expenditures forecast is $450 million with two-thirds on revenue-generating projects. Year-to-date, LN has spent $258 million on capital expenditures, driven by on-site venue enhancements and the expansion of the company’s venue portfolio.
The company fully expects the rosy and robust times to continue into 2024. Event-related deferred revenue is up 39 percent to $2.6 billion with half of its expected show count already booked and two-thirds of expected sponsorship already booked. In addition, the company cited a consumer-behavior study which found that 92 percent of concertgoers intend to attend the same or more shows in 2024 as in 2023.
LYV closed at $82.49 and jumped more than $4.50 per share in the first 15 minutes of after-hours trading.