Live Nation’s Third Quarter: Higher Revenue, Lower Profits, Lots of Bad Debt…

Live Nation’s numbers for the latest quarter are in. Concert attendance is up, leading to higher revenue… but profits are down and debt remains a serious concern.

The company put on 5,068 events during the previous quarter, with 21.2 million in aggregate attendance. During the same quarter last year, Live Nation put on 97 more events, but had 4.5 million less people in attendance.

This time, a few things have changed: for starters, the current interface lists secondary tickets in the same place as primary ones for some events.  This presumably keeps people from defecting to places like StubHub, and Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino pointed to initial bumps in captured per-consumer purchasing.

For the period, net income was $43.8 million, down from last year’s $57.9 million, with revenue reaching a lofty $2.3 billion.  The profit decline is partially due to debt extinguishment, which resulted in a loss of $36.2 million.

Overall, Live Nation still carries a dangerous debt load of more than $1.8 billion, which invites extreme risk if the economy presents any type of credit turbulence ahead.

Live Nation’s CEO, Michael Rapino, said this is “the best quarter in the company’s history”.

Live Nation’s stock (LYV) has doubled over the past year, but has been moving sharply downward since the announcement.  Just recently, Rapino dumped 40 percent of his available shares for a $12 million purse, signaling very little upside potential on the stock.


Image by phil dokas, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)