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Earnings Roundup / Warner Music

Record company swings to a profit

February 06, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Shares of Warner Music Group Corp. rose after the record company reported a profit from the sale of its stake in an artist-management company to Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc.

First-quarter net income of $23 million, or 15 cents a share, compared with a loss of $16 million, or 11 cents, a year earlier, the New York-based company said. Excluding the asset sale, Warner had a loss of 9 cents, better than the 14-cent average loss from eight analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman Jr.'s push into online and mobile music sales failed to compensate for declines in compact disc sales. Revenue in the quarter ended Dec. 31 fell 11% to $878 million. Digital sales jumped 20% to $171 million.

In October, Warner Music sold its stake in Front Line Management to Ticketmaster for $123 million. The co-founder of the artist-representation company, Irving Azoff, is now Ticketmaster's chief executive.

Recorded music sales, which include downloads and ring tones as well as CDs, vinyl and videos, fell 12% to $749 million.

Revenue from music publishing dropped 6.9% to $134 million, the company said.

Warner Music shares rose 48 cents, or 24%, to $2.49.

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