Live Nation, National CineMedia Both Report Losses in Q1

But the concert promoter’s losses narrowed thanks to a boost in concert ticket sales.

Two notable mid-cap entertainment companies reported quarterly earnings Thursday, but only one – Live Nation -- impressed Wall Street enough to drive its stock higher, while investors yawned at the results posted by National CineMedia.
Although Live Nation still lost money, it was only $49 million in its first fiscal quarter compared with a loss of $122 million a year ago. Revenue rose 17 percent to $849 million a year ago.
Live Nation said it sold 17 million concert tickets in the quarter, up 13 percent, and 7.5 million tickets to sporting events, up 17 percent.
While the company earned money from ticketing, eCommerce and sponsorships, it wasn’t enough to offset losses in its concerts and Artist Nation busineses.
Meanwhile, National CineMedia said the loss of military advertising hurt its business, causing it to record a $1 million loss in its fiscal first quarter compared with a $1.2 million profit last year. Revenue fell 16 percent to $71 million.
Not only did sales of in-theater advertising suffer during the quarter, but also sales at its special events unit, Fathom Events, though that’s a much smaller business for National CineMedia.
Shares of National CineMedia fell 2 percent during the regular session to $17.19 and were unchanged in the after-hours session. Shares of Live Nation rose fractionally in regular trading to $10.87 and were up as much as 5 percent after the closing bell.