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Madison Square Garden Trades at Record High as Knicks Win

Madison Square Garden Co., the sports and entertainment company that owns the New York Knicks and Rangers, rose to a record high after earnings topped estimates and a playoff run by both teams brings a surge in ticket sales.

Third-quarter net income climbed 24 percent to $38.4 million, or 49 cents a share, from $31.1 million, or 40 cents, a year earlier, the company said today in a statement. The average analyst estimate was 31 cents a share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The shares rose 0.4 percent to close at $60.71 at the close in New York, reaching the highest level since the stock began trading in 2010. The shares have gained 37 percent this year.

The Knicks advanced to the National Basketball Association postseason last month, while the Rangers made it to the National Hockey League playoffs -- bringing a double dose of extra revenue from tickets, TV viewership and merchandise. That’s helping the company rebound from work stoppages at both the NBA and NHL over the past two seasons, which made for fewer games.

Last quarter’s profit gains were driven by the New York-based company’s MSG Media unit. The MSG cable networks struck a deal with Time Warner Cable Inc. in last year’s third quarter to broadcast games of the Knicks and the Rangers, as well as the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres. MSG Media affiliate fee revenue, paid by cable-TV operators, increased $16.8 million. Total sales rose 3 percent to $412.4 million in the period, which ended March 31.

Madison Square Garden is completing a renovation of the eponymous arena it owns. The final phase of the project will begin after the Rangers and Knicks end their seasons, Chief Executive Officer Hank Ratner said in the statement.

The Knicks are currently leading the Boston Celtics 3-2 in their seven-game playoff series. The Knicks are the Eastern Conference’s second seed. Game 6 is tonight in Boston.

The Rangers, seeded sixth, are trailing the Washington Capitals 1-0 and play Game 2 at Washington tomorrow.

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