A large impairment charges related to its falling share prince sent Live Nation's fourth quarter loss skyrocketing, the Beverly Hills concert and artist promoter said Monday.
After the markets close, the world's largest concert promoter reported a net loss of nearly $338 million (-$4.33 per share), compared with a loss of $18.4 million (-25 cents) a year ago. Revenue fell 0.7 percent to $916 million.
Goodwill impairment charges lead to a write-down of $270 million, and were in part caused by the company's 70 percent drop in share price over the last year. The company's planned $2.5 billion merger with Ticketmaster Entertainment is under strong anti-trust scrutiny and has been the subject of congressional hearings.
Live Nation's 2008 net loss jumped 1,841 percent to $232 million (-$3.04), also largely due to the impairment charge. Revenues for the year grew 11 percent to $4.16 billion.
Despite the impairment charge Chief Executive Michael Rapino was upbeat about his company's performance. The number of number of concerts produced rose 33 percent in the fourth quarter and 32 percent year-over-year, with total attendance up 14 percent in the quarter and 12 percent over last year.
"Our fourth quarter results capped an outstanding year for Live Nation," Rapino said in a statement. "Looking ahead, we believe that the live music business remains resilient despite the global economic turndown and that we are well positioned to benefit from this."
Before the announcement, Live Nation shares closed down 34 cents, or nearly 10 percent, to $3.17 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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