Concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment said its first quarter loss grew, largely due to costs related to its recent merger with Ticketmaster.

After Monday’s market close, the Beverly Hills company, which also sells tickets and manages artists, reported a net loss of $112 million (-76 cents per share), compared with a loss of $103 million (-$1.29) a year earlier. The year-ago quarter, prior to the Jan 25 merger, had fewer shares outstanding.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected the company to report a loss of 36 cents per share.

Adjusted operating income for the quarter was $1.4 million, compared to a loss of $39.5 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 49 percent to $723 million, but that primarily came from Ticketmaster business that was added after the merger closed. Concert attendance fell 4 percent to 6.8 million, though total spending per concertgoer grew 2 percent to $59.71.

The company said it was considering "strategic options" for its TicketsNow resale site, which could include its sale. The site became controversial last year after it sold marked-up tickets to a Bruce Springsteen concert even though regular tickets were still available.

Chief Executive Michael Rapino said the company is on track to save $40 million this year. Most of the savings will come from merger-related layoffs. Adjusted operating income for the year likely will be "flat to slightly down" from the $444 million of a year earlier.

"During the first quarter, we moved forward with integrating our operations, streamlining our cost structure and strengthening our balance sheet," said Rapino in a statement. "Our core concert and ticketing businesses are entering the busiest time of the year and show count and ticket sales globally remain on track to achieve our plan for 2010."

Shares were down 44 cents, or less than 3 percent, to $14.38 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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