Live Nation Revenue Down 1 Percent in Second Quarter

Live Nation revenue declined 1 percent in the second quarter, the company announced Thursday, giving the world's largest concert promoter and ticket seller a rare -- but not unexpected -- hiccup during a period of health in the live event business.

Concert revenue declined 2 percent in second-quarter concert revenue to $1.18 billion. The slight drop wasn't a surprise. Live Nation told analysts and investors in April there had been an increase in early-year arena concerts that effectively placed some events in the first quarter that would normally have occurred in the second quarter.

As a result, arena attendance was down 14 percent in the second quarter but the strong first quarter left arena attendance up 6 percent through June. The second quarter-shift is also evident in 4.2-percent decline in events and the 5.3-percent drop in attendance.

The second half of the year is shaping up well, said COO Joe Berchtold. The company expects third-quarter concert attendance to rise 3 percent year-over-year. A "solid" fourth quarter is expected to result in double-digital growth in 2014 adjusted operating income. "On a year-on basis, we're going to end up exactly as we planned," said CEO Michael Rapino.

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The ticketing business, the division with the most operating income, is doing especially well. Ticketing revenue grew 10 percent to $371 million and the number of tickets sold grew 1.7 percent. Though July, concert ticket sales were up almost 3 percent. The company believes in July it will see 90-percent year-over-year growth in global secondary transactions. Mobile ticket revenues are up 40 percent this year and 17 percent of all tickets are purchased on mobile devices.

Sponsorships and advertising, another big contributor of operating income, was flat at $70.9 million in the second quarter but grew 4 percent in the first half of the year. Live Nation expanded its relationships with such brands as Budweiser, Hertz and Citi. Online advertising revenue grew 23% in the second quarter.

Live Nation shares have gained 17.5 percent in 2014 and 38.9 percent in the last 12 months. Its shares were down 2.7 percent amidst a broader market selloff related to U.S. monetary policy, rising U.S. job less benefits and worries of deflation in Europe. After the earnings call, shares were up 1.8% in after-hours trading.