Warner Music (WMG) Q4: Not Awful

Warner Music’s Q4 limps in this morning: Revenues basically flat, operating income up 8%, EPS beats consensus by a cent. Given the collapse of the music business, WMG can at least claim that their competitors are doing worse.

Revenue: $869 million, up 2% y/y. Missed consensus of $875M
Operating Expense: $71 milllion, up 8%
EPS: 3 cents, beating consensus by a penny. Down from 8 cents a year ago due to income tax expense.
Digital Sales: $130 million, up 25% y/y. Digital sales now make up 15% of total.

The bad news: Warner looks less bad this quarter only because the year-ago quarter was a real mess: Domestic revenue is up based on lousy comps from 2006. Recorded music sales are still down y/y; currency gains and music publishing are keeping the place afloat. And next year looks positively dreadful. We’ll update the earnings call live at 8:30. Release

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