It's been a whirlwind two weeks for the music business since Universal Music Group began trading on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange on Sept. 21, giving record labels and publishers a stage before global investors. UMG's first-day trading valued the company at roughly $57 billion, precipitating a 12.2% increase in rival Warner Music Group's share price. The hits have kept coming.
Next up, WMG shares rose 2.3% to $45.64, an all-time high that valued the company at roughly $26.8 billion, and closed at $45.18 on Friday, Oct. 8 (mid-day Monday it is hovering at around $45.50), after Morgan Stanley analyst Ben Swinburne upped his price target for WMG from $46 to $53 and raised his music industry outlook. In laying out his case, Swinburne cited "higher long-term streaming outlook and increased expectations for emerging digital platforms," namely in Asia, as well as signs that consumer demand is accelerating as markets re-open.