Warner Music Group (WMG) has experienced a decline in its stock price of around 27% since the beginning of 2023. However, the share price saw a 4% increase on May 15, closing at $26.34 on the Nasdaq. While WMG reported a 4.6% year-over-year revenue growth in the first quarter of 2023, it fell behind industry leaders like Spotify (13% YoY growth) and Universal Music Group (9.3% YoY growth) during the same period.
WMG expects its revenue growth to pick up in the second half of the fiscal year, mainly due to a stronger lineup of new releases from established artists. Despite recent fluctuations, WMG’s market cap has significantly increased over the years. In 2011, Access Industries acquired WMG for $3.3 billion. As of now, the company’s market cap is estimated at $13.59 billion, marking a more than four-fold increase over 12 years.
Len Blavatnik, the founder of Access Industries, personally controls 73.03% of WMG’s total outstanding shares and exerts even more control over the company’s voting power. He owns 99.8% of WMG’s Class B shares, which carry 20 votes each, giving him over 97% of the voting power at WMG. Blavatnik’s holdings would have been worth around $11.63 billion at the average price of WMG shares in 2022 and approximately $9.92 billion at the recent closing price.
Fidelity Investments is the largest minority shareholder in WMG, controlling 12.42% of the company’s Class A shares or 3.33% of the total company. Sands Capital holds 7.72% of WMG’s Class A shares, Stephen Cooper (former CEO of WMG) owns 4.44%, Caledonia Investments holds 4.53%, and Vanguard Group has a 7.54% stake.
Some previous significant shareholders, such as Tencent and Melvin Capital, have reduced or sold their holdings in WMG, while others like BlackRock Inc have not been seen in recent SEC filings related to WMG.
Overall, while WMG’s stock price has experienced volatility, the long-term trend has shown substantial value growth, attracting significant stakeholders.