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Warner Music Group Climbs as Profit Meets Estimates, Revenue Beats

Double-digit growth in digital revenue helped Warner Music Group increase total revenue by more than 6% despite coronavirus headwinds.
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Shares of Warner Music Group  (WMG)  rose after hours after the music publisher reported a fiscal-first-quarter top-line beat and earnings that met consensus estimates. 

Based on the Class B shares, the New York company earned 19 cents a share in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with 24 cents in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue of $1.34 billion was up 6.3% year over year to $1.34 billion.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting the company to earn 18 cents a share on a GAAP basis, or an adjusted 19 cents, on revenue of $1.26 billion. 

"Despite the impact of covid, we generated the highest quarterly revenue in our 17-year history as a stand-alone company, growing 4% compared to the prior-year period, which was unaffected by covid," Chief Executive Steve Cooper said in a statement.

Warner shares at last check were up 0.9% to $35.80. They'd closed the regular Monday session up 1.2% at $35.50. 

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The company reported double-digit growth in digital and direct-to-consumer revenue, which "more than offset" the disruption to the live-music aspect of the industry's business model due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. 

"While certain areas of our business remain challenged due to covid, our core streaming business remains strong and our direct-to-consumer destinations and emerging streaming platforms have bolstered our performance," Chief Financial Officer Eric Levin said in the statement. 

"We are well-positioned for long-term growth," 

Shares of the company jumped by more than 25% in December. In January the stock advanced after Warner Music unveiled a licensing deal with the popular social-media app TikTok. 

“With an expanding number of partnerships including Facebook (FB)  TikTok, and Snap,  (SNAP)  among others, social media is already a meaningful nine-figure revenue stream for us and is growing at a faster rate than subscription streaming," Cooper said at the time.