Warner Music Narrows Loss In 3Q

LOS ANGELES (AP) — NEW YORK – Warner Music Group Corp. reported Thursday it narrowed its loss in the fiscal third quarter as the global music industry slowed down while European sales strengthened.

Net loss narrowed to $9 million, or 6 cents per share in the three months ended June 30, from $17 million, or 12 cents a share, in the same period last year.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $848 million from $804 million, though sales actually declined 1.1 percent if factoring in benefits from exchange rates.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial, on average, expected a loss of 18 cents on sales of $769 million.

Operating income from continuing operations increased 11 percent to $51 million from $46 million. The operating income last year includes $6 million related to a settlement with Bertelsmann AG regarding Napster (nasdaq: NAPS – news – people ).

The company said its results show the music industry is still trying to shift from physical sales to new forms of digital music as it continues to be affected by digital piracy.

Domestic revenue declined 6.5 percent. International revenue grew 17.2 percent, or 3.6 percent eliminating benefits from exchange rates.

Digital revenue, which accounts for 20 percent of total revenue, was up 39 percent at $166 million.

The stock closed at $8.44 on Wednesday. Shares have traded in a range from $4.57 to $12.25 in the last 52 weeks.

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