LIVE NATION STOCK COOLS
-- Live Nation's hot stock is cooling off. In late May, a Miller Tabac analyst told Reuters Liberty Media's tender offer for Live Nation shares earlier in the year had seemed to have established a floor of $12 for Live Nation's stock price. He also described the 2010 summer concert season as "very healthy" and added "there's expectation for growth in attendee spending as we come out of recession." At the time, Live Nation was a hot stock. It hit a high of $16.90 in late April.
A mere one week after that Reuters article ran, Live Nation broke through that $12 floor and dropped to $10.56. It reverted back above $12 on June 14 and remained above or near that mark until Monday. This has been a tough week for the stock. Shares dropped 5.75% on Monday and sank another 4% on Tuesday, closing at $10.86. In morning trading on Wednesday, the stock had dropped another 0.5% to $10.81.
Investors should have a different outlook on this summer's concert season than they did just a few weeks ago. As Billboard and others have already reported, this summer's concert season does not appear it will live up to expectations. The jury is still out, however, and we'll have to wait until Live Nation reports its third quarter earnings to know how it fared. But right now optimism is clearly in shorter supply than just a month or two ago.
PROSECUTORS: MESSIER, BRONFMAN JR. SHOULD BE ACQUITTED
-- French prosecutors have asked a court to acquit former Vivendi executives Jean-Marie Messier and Edgar Bronfman Jr., who are currently on trial in Paris. Messier, the former CEO, is on trial for misleading investors and manipulating the company's stock price. Bronfman, a former Vivendi director and now Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group, is accused of insider trading. (AP)
REALNETWORKS CUTS 85 POSITIONS
-- RealNetworks announced on Tuesday it has eliminated about 85 positions by laying off 25% of its executive headcount and reducing its office space in Seattle, Europe and Asia. The company will take a $10 million restructuring charge in the current quarter. Three million dollars is related to reduction in staff and the remainder will be taken as a loss on excess office facilities. Earlier this year, RealNetworks and MTV Networks spun off their Rhapsody joint venture as an independent entity in which each owns less than a 50% stake. (SEC filing)
VRINGO IPO PRICE SET
-- Vringo, which offers video ringtones and caller ID platforms, priced its stock at $4.60 for initial public offering. The company's stock will be traded on the NYSE Amex. Vringo is offering 2,392,000 shares and hopes to raise $11 million. It is backed by Warburg Pincus and by private investors. (Trading Markets)
THUMBS UP ON SONOS APP
-- The new Sonos iPad app is getting rave reviews. The app has a slick interface and drag-and-drop functionality and the larger screen of the iPad makes browsing a different experience than browsing on a smaller device like an iPhone. Last.fm, Rhapsody, Pandora and other services are all integrated. The app is free - and it won't be out until August. The Sonos controller costs $349 and the S5 monitors go for $399 each. At $500, the iPad ends up being the most expensive component of the bunch. (Mashable)
TUNECORE + SPOTIFY
-- TuneCore has inked a deal with Spotify to make available to its clients distribution to the popular (in six countries) music service.
-- Media and entertainment executives believe Internet and mobile present opportunity for growth even though those technologies have not yet improved their bottom lines. (The Wrap)
-- Record label Golden Music Nashville is shutting down. (MusicRow)
-- A shooting outside The Echo in Los Angeles has the popular music venue adding additional security for upcoming shows. (LAist)