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What: Shares of music giant Warner Music Group
So what: Warner Music announced fiscal fourth-quarter earnings today and, as has been the case for some time now, the results were nothing to sing about. Revenue for the quarter was down 13% from last year, while the net loss widened from $16 million to $46 million. But before we start strumming the blues too heavily, it's notable that revenue of $752 million was well ahead of analysts' estimates. And since analysts normally exclude extraordinary charges, it would appear that the $0.08 per-share loss we get to after adjusting for severance costs also beat expectations.
Now what: As a music fan, Warner Music is definitely a cool business -- it has a truly impressive catalog that spans Metallica to Notorious B.I.G. and Cher. As a business fan, I can comfortably say that the company has a ways to go before being out of the woods. Looking ahead, the transition from physical media (CDs, etc.) to digital will continue to put a strain on the company, but it's hopeful that growth on the digital side of the business can pull it through. The company recently signed a deal with European streaming service Spotify, and it's looking toward a U.S. launch of that same service as well as a potential music offering from Google
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