Financial analyst issues report on departure

The day after news leaked that Madonna was close to leaving Warner Bros. Records and hitting the road with concert promoter Live Nation, Warner Music was quick to forward a report from a Bank of America subsidiary explaining why the former material girl is no longer worth a nine-digit payday.

Knowing that Warner will still receive a Madonna disc next year, Banc of America Securities analysts wrote a report titled “For $120 Million, She’s All Yours.” Here are some of the highlights:

  • There is “headline risk associated with a Madonna defection. However, the bigger risk would be to overpay for an artist that does not seem to be generating the revenue to support the contract being discussed.”

  • Beside the fact that Madonna will turn 60 years old in the last year of the proposed deal, it is “fantastic” for her but does not “make economic sense” for WMG.

  • “Her loss will not meaningfully impact Warner’s near-term sales.”

Banc of America has a “buy” rating on Warner Music Group stock, which closed down 16¢ on Thursday at $11.13. BofA figures WMG will rise to $16 based on its strength in the digital delivery department. Over the past 12 months, WMG’s stock has dropped from $27.24 to a low of $9.41 last month.

Wednesday’s news did not do much for Live Nation as its stock price dropped 87¢ to $22.49.

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