Eventbrite plunges after revealing Ticketfly merger challenges

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz speaks during an interview with CNBC following the company’s IPO at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), September 20, 2018. 

Eventbrite shed a third of its value Friday after revealing operational challenges around its Ticketfly acquisition.

The stock traded below its IPO price of $23 for the first time since debuting on the public markets in September. The plunge marks a 43 percent drop from the stock’s all-time high of $40.25.

Eventbrite beat revenue expectations for the fourth quarter and grew total paid ticket volume. But the North American music segment struggled, according to analysts with Stifel, in part due to migration challenges in integrating the Ticketfly platform into Eventbrite’s existing marketplace.

Eventbrite bought Ticketfly in 2017 and chose to merge the platforms rather than operate Ticketfly independently.

The integration “requires an intensive process where our team focuses on migrating existing customers as well as building platform enhancements,” CEO Julia Hartz said on the company’s earnings conference call.

Eventbrite is projecting first quarter revenue of between $80 million and $84 million — far short of the $91 million analysts polled by Refinitiv had forecast.

“Eventbrite may have missed the June/July 2018 window for migration due to the security incident which prompted some customers to leave the platform that otherwise would have migrated. In addition, some competitors, looking to take advantage of the temporary setback have become aggressive with offers for some creators,” analysts at Stifel said.

The company conceded a short-term negative impact but maintained the integration of Ticketfly and Eventbrite would bolster sales in the long-term.

“In the long-term, we believe building the leading global independent music platform will maximize our revenue and allow for a meaningful innovation,” Hartz said. “We believe the work we are undertaking this year to bring our North American music business on to a single global platform will pay off for many years to come.”

—CNBC’s Christine Wang contributed to this report.

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