Business

Live Music Stocks Soar on COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough

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Stock prices for live music companies skyrocketed Monday morning on news that a COVID-19 vaccine was found to be 90% effective.

At 9:15 am ET, just 30 minutes after Pfizer's press release with its vaccine trial results, Live Nation was +20.8% to $67.73, Madison Square Garden Entertainment was +21.4% to $84.44 and Germany concert promoter CTS Eventim was +23.5% to $51.90. Market indexes around the world rose on Monday: in the U.S., the Dow was +3.9% and the S&P 500 was +2.9%; In the U.K., the FTSE 100 was +5.8%; and Russia's RTS Index was +5.3%.

Developed by Biotech companies Pfizer and BioNTech, the vaccine showed no serious side effects in a trial of 43,538 participants of racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds, Pfizer announced Monday morning. Trial participants were given two doses spaced 21 days apart; the drug was 90% effective seven days after the second dose, meaning the vaccine is effective within 28 days of the first dose. Pfizer noted “the final vaccine efficacy percentage may vary” as the trial continues.

Even when the vaccine is made available, limited availability will mean fans will not return to live events immediately. Pfizer currently projects it will produce up to 50 million vaccine doses globally by the end of 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021. The U.S. government has ordered 100 million doses once the vaccine is developed and can buy an additional 500 million. In recent months, Live Nation executives have said the company's concert business will be running at scale in the summer of 2021. Most fans have held their tickets rather than seek refunds: through the end of the third quarter, Live Nation's global refund rate is 17% while festival tickets' refund rate is 37%.

Companies related to live entertainment, travel and tourism have been especially battered in 2020. News of the vaccine has helped push these companies' share prices multiples above their pandemic low marks: Live Nation now trades 212.4% above its 2020 low of $21.70; American Airlines share price is 55.4% above its 2020; and Hilton Worldwide is 132.4% above its pandemic low after a 11.1% bump on Monday morning.