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Ticketmaster loses $1.07 billion in fourth quarter

The red ink reflects a $1.1-billion write-down because of the firm's falling share price.

March 20, 2009|Associated Press

Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. lost $1.07 billion in the fourth quarter, as the ticket-selling company that hopes to merge with concert promoter Live Nation Inc. had to take a huge impairment charge to account for its falling share price.

Ticketmaster said Thursday that the loss amounted to $18.82 a share in the three months that ended Dec. 31.

The $1.1-billion goodwill write-down reflected the decline in the company's stock, which debuted at $20 when it was spun off from IAC/InterActiveCorp in August. Shares of Ticketmaster closed Thursday down 3 cents at $4.09 before the earnings were announced.

Excluding the charge, earnings fell 81% to $9.9 million, or 16 cents a share.

Sales grew 9% to $384 million, mainly from acquisitions.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected, on average, profit of 29 cents a share on sales of $378 million.

"Last year was a year of transition for Ticketmaster Entertainment," said Irving Azoff, who became chief executive in October when Ticketmaster took a controlling interest in his talent management company, Front Line Management Group Inc.

"While I'm pleased that in the midst of an evolving music industry and a challenged consumer environment we were able to show substantial growth in free cash flow, we won't be satisfied until we transform the company," he said in a statement.

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