April 12, 2024

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iHeartMedia’s 30% Gain Leads Music Stocks This Week Amid Robust U.S. Jobs Report

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iHeartMedia’s 30% Gain Leads Music Stocks This Week Amid Robust U.S. Jobs Report

Shares of iHeartMedia jumped 30.5% to $3.12 this week, making the radio giant the best-performing stock on the Billboard Global Music Index. The company gained 25.3% on Friday (June 2) without any clear signal — such as an SEC filing or earnings release — to drive such a sharp movement. On Thursday, CEO Bob Pittman told The New York Post that “radio is as strong as ever” and is not in competition with streaming services like Spotify. “The consumer uses us both,” he said. iHeartMedia’s share price is down 49.1% year to date.

The Billboard Global Music Index increased 1.3% to 12,47.74 overall this week, as 11 of the index’s 21 stocks finished in positive territory. Korean music company HYBE was unchanged, while the remaining nine stocks posted losses between 0.9% and 4.2%. The index has gained 6.8% year to date. 

Stocks closed the week on high notes following a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report that showed non-farm payroll employment increased by 339,000 in May. Although the music industry is experiencing a rare series of layoffs and notable tech companies like Meta continue to downsize, the jobs market has remained strong in the face of inflation and higher borrowing costs following a year of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

The S&P 500 gained 1.5% on Friday, bringing its one-week increase to 1.8%. The Nasdaq composite gained 1.1% on Friday and closed 2.0% higher on the week. Overseas, the United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 index fell 0.3% this week while Korea’s KOSPI index improved 1.7%.

Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSGE) was the only other stock on the Billboard Global Music Index that showed a double-digit gain, with shares gaining 14.4% to finish at $40.09. On Wednesday, Macquarie initiated coverage of MSGE with a $43 price target and an “outperform” rating; speaking with the TD Ameritrade Network on Friday, Macquarie analyst Paul Golding noted the company’s “high-quality assets that are very well known in the largest market in the country” and “desirable assets” for concerts and tours. 

Outside of the Billboard Global Music Index, radio company Townsquare gained 16.9% this week, bringing the company’s year-to-date improvement to 44.7% despite a soft advertising market that has hurt most radio stocks. K-pop company JYP Entertainment, home to Stray Kids and Twice, steadily rose throughout the week to close at 128,700 KRW ($98.53) on Friday, up 13.2%, for a year-to-date gain of 89.8%. JYP announced on Wednesday that it expanded its partnership with Imperial and Republic Records to help market and promote its music in the United States.

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