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Sphere, Spotify Stocks Up After Quarterly Earnings Results

The Sphere venue in Las Vegas isn’t turning a profit, but it’s doing enough to encourage investors to buy into its owner, Sphere Entertainment Co.

Shares of Sphere Entertainment gained 13.8% to $40.29 this week after the company’s quarterly earnings report released Monday (Feb. 5) showed that the state-of-the-art venue — currently capturing eyeballs ahead of the Super Bowl in Las Vegas on Sunday — took in revenue of $167.8 million and had an adjusted gain of $14 million (adjusted to certain items including $117 million of non-cash impairment related to the company’s failed bid to open a Sphere in London).

Sphere Entertainment was the top-performing music stock in a week when music stocks soared to new heights, with the 20-company Billboard Global Music Index gaining 3% to land at a record 1,636.43. While the numbers of winners and losers were even at 10 stocks apiece, most of the index’s most valuable companies posted gains this week. Tencent Music Entertainment rose 6.7% to $9.67, Live Nation improved 1.5% to $89.53 and Universal Music Group gained 1.2% to 27.41 euros ($29.55). 

Spotify, another of the index’s largest companies, gained 8.2% to $240.77 after its earnings results on Tuesday (Feb. 6) showed its subscriber number grew to 236 million, up 10 million in the quarter, and that revenue grew 16% to 3.67 billion euros ($4.05 billion). The share price reached its highest mark since December 2021 as investors discovered a renewed faith in Spotify following its decision to cut 17% of its workforce in December. Spotify has always had a good product. Now, there is a growing feeling it can be a good business, too.

“The market is now seeing the potential of this business,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a Wednesday (Feb. 7) note to investors, “as record [monthly active user] net adds and subscribers come alongside price increases and an aggressive turn towards cost efficiency.” Stronger revenue growth and the potential for better margins led Morgan Stanley to raise its Spotify price target from $250 to $270.

Major indexes gained this week, too, and one reached a major threshold: The S&P 500 closed above 5,000 for the first time on Friday as it rose 1.4% to 5,026.61, while the Nasdaq composite improved 2.3% to 15,990.66, its highest level since 2021, thanks to big gains from chip maker Nvidia and e-commerce giant Amazon. In the United Kingdom, the FTSE 100 declined 0.6% to 7,572.58. South Korea’s KOSPI composite index rose 0.2% to 2,620.32. China’s Shangai Composite Index jumped 5% to 2,865.90. 

It was a busy week for corporate earnings reports. CTS Eventim shares rose 5.5% to 66.90 euros ($72.12) following the company’s fourth-quarter results Wednesday. The German concert promoter’s 2023 revenue reached 2.4 billion euros, up 22.5%, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization improved 31.9% to 501.4 million euros.  

Warner Music Group (WMG) shares briefly rallied following its earnings results on Thursday — with the stock up 5.1% to $38.05 — but it finished the day down 2.5% and the week down 2.6% to $35.71. Morgan Stanley analysts remained “overweight” on WMG and kept the price target at $42. Guggenheim analysts reiterated their “buy” rating and maintained their $46 price target. 

MSG Entertainment shares rose 9% to $36.81 after the company’s fiscal second-quarter earnings results were released Wednesday. The New York-based live entertainment company raised revenue guidance for its full fiscal year by 10% to a range of $930 million to $950 million. Executive chairman/CEO James Dolan attributed the strong quarter to “record results” from the Christmas Spectacular production, the long-running show featuring the Radio City Rockettes. 

LiveOne shares fell 2.1% after PodcastOne reported a 22% increase in revenue in the first nine months of its fiscal year on Thursday (Feb. 8). (LiveOne spun off PodcastOne in 2023 and retained a 73% stake.) PodcastOne ranked No. 10 in Podtrac’s top publisher’s rankings and achieved a U.S. audience of 5.3 million, but its net loss increased from $3 million to $13.7 million. 

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