LEADOFF: Braves’ stock slumps as revenue surges

Liberty Media credits SunTrust Park for the Braves’ large increase in revenue this year.
Liberty Media credits SunTrust Park for the Braves’ large increase in revenue this year.

Good morning. This is LEADOFF, today’s early look inside Atlanta sports.

The Braves' stock is in a slump, even as their revenue surges.

Shares of the Braves’ tracking stock are down 13 percent since news broke Oct. 2 about the still-ongoing MLB investigation into alleged rule-breaking by team officials on the international player market.

How much correlation should be drawn can be debated, but the stock, which was at $25.80 per share when the scandal erupted, closed Thursday at $22.47.

The stock (ticker symbol BATRA) actually rose in the first two days after word came out of the MLB investigation, but it has drifted downward since.

The shares declined 24 cents per share Thursday, the same day team owner Liberty Media disclosed third-quarter financial results that showed Braves revenue up a whopping 70 percent from the same three months a year ago.

The Braves brought in revenue of $185 million for the July-through-September quarter this year, an increase of $76 million over revenue of $109 million in the same period last year.

And the third-quarter result brought the Braves' revenue for the year to $366 million through Sept. 30 – up $122 million from their total for the first nine months of last year ($244 million) and up $104 million from their total for all of last year ($262 million).

It’ll be interesting to see how, or when, or if, the  revenue increase of $100 million-plus in a single year affects the Braves’ player payroll.

Liberty Media attributed the revenue surge primarily to the Braves’ new stadium, SunTrust Park.

Click here for more details on the Braves' financial results, including how much executives received in stock-based compensation and how much debt the team is carrying.

As for the MLB investigation, Liberty Media had a bit to say about that on Thursday, too. See that story here.

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