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Live Nation’s Annual Loss Widens on Artist Management

Live Nation Entertainment Inc., the world’s biggest concert promoter and ticket retailer, posted a wider annual loss on a $68.2 million charge related to the exit of its former chairman and the artist-management unit he ran.

The loss of $163.2 million, or 87 cents a share, compares with a loss of $83 million, or 46 cents, in 2011, Beverly Hills, California-based Live Nation said today in a statement. The company didn’t break out fourth-quarter net income.

Sales in the fourth quarter rose 21 percent to $1.44 billion, exceeding the $1.29 billion average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg. Adjusted operating income of $62.5 million missed the $63 million estimate of Benjamin Mogil with Stifel Nicolaus & Co. The figure excludes acquisition costs, asset sales, depreciation, amortization and stock-based compensation.

Chief Executive Officer Michael Rapino is revamping the Ticketmaster service, opening offices in Asia and Latin America and adding festivals to its lineup with a goal of boosting operating income by 35 percent through 2015. The management business was led by Irving Azoff, who resigned from the company in December.

The Artist Nation unit recorded $5.5 million in costs related to Azoff’s departure and $62.7 million to write down certain client-vendor relationship assets.

Live Nation fell 1.9 percent to $10.12 at the close in New York. The stock has climbed 8.7 percent this year.

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