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MERGER TALK AIDS LIVE NATION SPIKE

Live Nation stock closed Tuesday at a record $51.81 after a BTIG analyst rated it “buy,” noting that a merger with SiriusXM was "inevitable."

"We and a growing group of investors have come to believe a nearer-term combination of SiriusXM and Live Nation is inevitable," BTIG analyst Brandon Ross wrote. "We believe Liberty President and CEO, Greg Maffei, has long desired to combine Sirius and Live Nation into a single music distribution company and has encouraged a marriage of his two music industry interests in the past."

Ross said Live Nation could benefit from Sirius' balance sheet.

Live Nation’s stock has been on a steady climb since closing at $36.61 in early April and has closed at more than $50 over the last nine trading days. Shares are up 39% over the last 12 months.

Liberty Media, which owns 71% of SiriusXM’s stock, already has a sizeable stake in Live Nation—34% as of 4/30. The company also owns Formula 1 racing and has small stakes in the Atlanta Braves, the Kroenke Arena Co. and a music streaming company in India. It recently offered to buy a 40% chunk of iHeartMedia, which the company rejected.

Live Nation will announce quarterly earnings on Thursday. 

Live Nation is expected to report growth in all segments—concerts, sponsorship and ticketing—with revenue around $2.9b. Experts have earnings pegged at $.20, down from $.29 reported in the same quarter last year.

 

 

 

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