Live Nation reports earnings after the end of trading Tuesday. The company had previously disclosed it expected to end 2012 with a mid-single digit increase in attendance, “solid” growth in revenue and adjusted operating income in its concert division and a low- to single-digit increase in ticket sales in its Ticketmaster division. Since most of the concert season had concluded by the end of the third quarter and it does not appear any surprises reared their heads in the fourth quarter, Live Nation should be able to deliver on its guidance.
The company is likely to have a positive outlook for 2013. By the end of October it had already sold three million tickets to events in 2013, compared to 900,000 advance tickets to events in 2012 at the same point a year earlier. Sources say consumers’ appetites for concerts appear to be healthy this year due at least in part to a continued effort to maintain affordable prices. Live Nation has a number of popular artists on tour this year, including Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake, One Direction, Fleetwood Mac, Pink, New Kids on the Block, and Rush.
Tuesday's earnings call may mention the departure of board member James Dolan, executive chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company and president/CEO of MSG owner Cablevision. A source has told Billboard MSG's roughly 2% stake in Live Nation had not been sold as of Monday.
Shares of Live Nation closed up 0.2% to $10.32 Monday while the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell between 1.4% and 1.8%. Live Nation is up 10.9% year to date and is up 19.7% over the last six months. Of the four analyst ratings listed at StreetInsider.com, two are "buy" ratings and two are neutral (one is a "hold," the other is "neutral"). Maxim Group has the highest price target at $14.00 while Goldman Sachs has the lowest at $11.50.