* Fiscal Q1 loss $0.12/shr vs $0.11/shr loss year-ago
* Rev $789 mln vs Street view of $798 mln
* Top sellers include Michael Buble, Josh Grobin
* Shares fall 11.4 percent
(Adds analyst comment, updates share fall, adds byline)
By Yinka Adegoke
NEW YORK, Feb 8 Warner Music Group WMG.N
posted a deeper loss on Tuesday as its sales declined more than
expected, sending the company's shares down more than 11
The world's third-largest music company said it also lost
market share as it battles with a difficult industry transition
from CDs to digital music.
Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman declined to comment on
reports from last month that the company has put itself up for
sale while simultaneously exploring the possibility of buying
smaller rival EMI Group.
Warner Music shares jumped nearly 30 percent when news of
possible consolidation between the two companies was first
Bronfman said the company's release schedule in the
all-important December quarter did not meet its own
"We had a lot of releases in the December quarter and by
and large, they did not do as well as expected versus other
companies," Bronfman said on an analyst conference call.
"We don't like to see ourselves losing share, and that
New York-based Warner Music competes with other major music
companies including Vivendi's (VIV.PA) Universal Music Group
and Sony Corp's (6758.T) Sony Music Entertainment. All music
companies have struggled to cope with adapting to new
digital-based methods to sell music as consumers buy less music
in dollar terms.
"Against a backdrop of shrinking CD sales, we think (the
quarter) reflected a competitive release slate and decelerating
digital growth," said Standard & Poor's analyst Tuna Amobi.
He said shares were under pressure because of "a
combination of slowing digital revenue, market share dip ...
and lingering uncertainty with the outcome of the current
exploration of strategic options."
For the fiscal first quarter, the company posted a loss of
12 cents a share, compared with a loss of 11 cents a share in
the year-ago period.
Revenue fell 14 percent to $789 million, below average
estimates of $798 million.
Warner Music's results also reflected a slowing down in
growth of digital sales after several years of double-digit
growth across the industry.
Its digital revenue rose 2 percent to $187 million from a
year ago, but it was down 5 percent sequentially from the
Shares were down 71 cents or 11.4 percent at $5.52 on the
New York Stock Exchange in early afternoon.
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke, editing by Dave Zimmerman and