Why Live Nation Shares Were Rocking Out

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV  ) were going to 11 today, gaining as much as 13% after posting a better-than-expected profit in its second-quarter earnings report.

So what: The concert organizer delivered in the all-important summer season with earnings per share of $0.30, soaring past analyst expectations of just $0.10. It looks like an especially strong season for the concert industry, with sales for the Ticketmaster parent up 8.3% in the quarter to $1.68 billion, ahead of expectations of $1.62 billion, as attendance was up 8% to 15.3 million. CEO Michael Rapino said the company was headed for "a record summer" as the concert business continues to rebound from the recession.

Now what: While it was certainly a strong quarter for the event promoter, the numbers were boosted by a $30 million gain on the sale of Foxwoods Theater, without which earnings per share would have been only about $0.15 per share. Optimism continues to build for a recovery in the industry Live Nation dominates, but analysts are projecting an overall loss this year and just a slim profit next year. With shares having nearly doubled this year and profits still elusive, this stock may be ready for a disco nap.

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