Live Nation sees sales jump against toughest-ever comparable quarter
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Live Nation sees sales jump against toughest-ever comparable quarter

Concert booker Live Nation reported second quarter earnings for 2018 this week, demonstrating strong forward momentum despite bumping up against their strongest comparable quarter ever. The company said that revenue rose by 7%, net income attributable to shareholders increased by 15%, and earnings per share was up by 17%. All of these figures are reported in comparison with the second quarter of 2017.

Live Nation’s share price has appreciated by 16% so far this year

graph 0108 livenation

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

More important to Live Nation than these traditional metrics, however, is adjusted operating income (AOI), which is essentially Live Nation’s operating income adjusted to compensate for “stock-based compensation, amortization and depreciation, and losses or gains from asset sales”. Last year, the company hit a big win in its second quarter with AOI increases of 24% against the second quarter of 2016. This year, Live Nation’s goal was to keep it rising in the “double-digit” territory. With a year on year increase of 18%, it accomplished that relatively easily.

Other things worth mentioning: Live Nation’s pre-sold attendance figures are up 4% against the comparable quarter in 2017, and it expects to put on 32,000 shows this year. Advertising and sponsorship revenue is continuing to increase, logging a 12% rise against the previous year. The company’s ticket-selling platform (Ticketmaster) is also seeing impressive growth: this quarter, sales were up 13% against the second quarter of 2017, and sales on mobile (an important metric as the entertainment world continues to digitize even faster than other industries) rose by 34% over the same period.

The company said it expects it current growth to continue throughout the year, with lower double-digit increases in AOI and single-digit growth in ticketing for the third quarter.

Live Nation’s President, Joe Berchtold, reiterated the strength of the company’s comparable quarter on an earnings call, saying: "We're now comping against Q2 2017, which was our highest AOI growth quarter ever, with $40 million or 22% overall AOI growth, including 51% concerts AOI growth and 21% sponsorship AOI growth. Against that backdrop, this quarter was our third-largest AOI growth quarter ever, with AOI up another 18%."


Dominion holds Live Nation in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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