Live Nation posts drop in earnings

Concert promoter reports net loss of $34.6 million

A full measure of the dreadful 2010 touring season was revealed in Live Nation’s second-quarter earnings announcement Thursday: The country’s top concert promoter reported a net loss of $34.6 million in the three months ending June 30.

The company’s revenue fell 10% to $1.27 billion (when including Ticketmaster’s results prior to finalization of its merger with Live Nation in January).

Results followed a July presentation for investors at which Live Nation chief executive officer Michael Rapino and executive chairman Irving Azoff forecast declining profits. The firm’s stock dropped 17% in the wake of the projections.

On Thursday, shares fell 21 cents (2.2%) to $9.25 in after-hours trading after results were announced.

Earnings reported Thursday succeeded weeks of dire news for the concert biz, which has been hammered by postponed tours, canceled dates and drastically discounted tickets.

The industry took a major hit when U2, the world’s top touring attraction, was forced to move several U.S. dates to 2011 after lead singer Bono underwent emergency back surgery.

The Eagles, Christina Aguilera, the Jonas Brothers and Limp Bizkit all either pared down their touring schedules or pulled off the road completely. (Both the Eagles and Aguilera are managed in-house by Live Nation.) The all-female Lilith tour was forced to lop one-third of its dates due to sluggish sales.

Concert attendance toppled 6% to 12.4 million in the second quarter.

Overall, Live Nation sold 23.9 million tickets online, down 10 percent from a year ago.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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