Shares of Live Nation Entertainment ( LYV 9.69% ) were climbing today after the world’s largest concert promoter posted better-than-expected results in its fourth-quarter earnings report and touted a strong comeback in 2022.
As of 2:58 p.m. ET, the entertainment stock was up 8.4%.
After revenue was nearly wiped out in the quarter a year ago due to the pandemic, Live Nation recouped almost all of last year’s decline. Revenue came in at $2.7 billion, down 7% from the $2.89 billion it achieved in Q4 2019, which was much better than the analyst consensus at $2.05 billion.
For Q4, the company put on 9,300 concerts and hosted 16 million fans, and it experienced strong ticket pricing with average prices up 11%.
The fourth quarter is a seasonally weak time of year for Live Nation while the warmer months are its strongest. Even during pre-pandemic times, it would usually lose money in the fourth quarter. In Q4 2021, it reported a $121.5 million operating loss according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). But after adjustments, it had an operating income of $160.3 million, double its adjusted operating profit in Q4 2019.
On the bottom line, it reported a GAAP loss per share of $0.86, worse than the expected per-share loss of $0.54.
In a statement, CEO Michael Rapino said,
Over the course of 2021, we saw the strength of live events. The year started in the midst of the pandemic, but by summer fans were returning to shows, and by the end of the year, we had a record pipeline of concerts, ticket sales and advertising commitments for 2022.
Looking ahead, Live Nation said it was on track to have a record 2022, with leading indicators showing record fan levels for the year. The company didn’t give specific guidance but said Q1 would be slower than normal with revenue more heavily weighted to the warm-weather quarters, Q2 and Q3, as it delayed some concerts to give European sites more time to reopen.
If the pandemic truly comes to an end this year, Live Nation will be a major beneficiary since there is still plenty of pent-up demand for things like concerts — as Live Nation’s comeback shows.
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