Live Nation Roared Back in Third Quarter With $2.7B Revenue


With music fans returning to concerts and festivals, and buying concert tickets for a surge of 2022 concerts, Live Nation’s earnings began the long road to recovery in the third quarter. Revenue increased over 13-fold to $2.7 billion from the prior-year period, and adjusted operating income rose from a $319.2 million loss to a $305.7 million gain, according to the company’s earnings report released Thursday (Nov. 4)

Compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, however, some of Live Nation’s numbers were still down sharply. Third quarter revenue was 28.5% below the same quarter in 2019. Estimated events and fans were down 35.9% and 46.1%, respectively, from the third quarter of 2019.

Live Nation shares rose 2.1% to a $107.48 all-time high closing price on Thursday and reached $111.00, up an additional 3.2%, in after-hours trading after the earnings were made public.

Those fans who have returned to live music are spending more than they did in 2019. Live Nation’s Ticketmaster was a high point, recording an all-time adjusted operating income of $172 million, 35% higher than pre-pandemic levels. Tickets to major festivals were up 10% versus 2019, and pricing for festivals and amphitheater shows were up double-digits from the third quarter of 2019. On-site spending at amphitheaters and festivals were up over 20%.

Financial maneuvering in 2020 left Live Nation with ample liquidity of $2.3 billion, including $571 million of debt capacity and $1.7 billion in free cash –enough for “the runway it needs as more shows return,” the company said in a statement. In addition, the company has $1.3 billion in ticketing client cash on its books.

Financial performance – year over year (Q3 2021 vs. Q3 2020)

  • Revenue: up 1,367% to $2.7 billion
  • Adjusted operating income: up $624.9 million from -$319.2 million to $305.7 million

Financial performance vs. pre-pandemic period (Q3 2021 vs. Q3 2019)

  • Revenue: down 28.5% from $2.89 billion
  • Adjusted operating income: down 28.4% to $427.1 million

Attendance metrics vs. pre-pandemic period (Q3 2021 vs. Q3 2019)

  • Estimated events: down 35.9% to 5,563
  • Estimated fans: down 46.1% to 16.9 million
  • Tickets sold: down 29% to 83.1 million

This story is developing.

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