Live Nation Entertainment, which has faced some challenges in recent weeks, is in strong financial shape due in part to positive concert ticket sales,...

Live Nation Entertainment, which has faced some challenges in recent weeks, is in strong financial shape due in part to positive concert ticket sales, according to investment bank Thomas Weisel Partners.

The opinion of research analyst Ben Mogil, one of the foremost financial analysts covering the company, runs counter to recent press reports that have spelled gloom for Live Nation’s summer concert business, which has seen the cancellations of several concerts and a couple of tours.

High profile tours planned for this year by U2 and Christina Aguilera have been pushed back to 2011, and John Mayer, The Eagles, Simon and Garfunkel and Rihanna, among others, have cancelled some shows this summer.

Industry speculation has centered on the cancelled tours and concerts being the result of slow ticket sales, and in some cases that might be true. However, Mogil points to the secondary ticket market as proof that Live Nation’s concert ticket sales are performing well.

Mogil wrote in an equity research report this week, obtained by TicketNews, that Thomas Weisel’s “proprietary secondary market ticket tracking continues to indicate that for most tour dates the secondary market pricing is at or above that of the primary market indicating that the primary market is largely selling well boding well for both Live Nation on the concert promotion and legacy Ticketmaster fronts.”

According to Mogil, there are several concert cancellations and postponements every summer, a fact the company expects to grapple with each year. In addition, Mogil believes Live Nation’s decision to drop service fees on tickets for several of its shows this summer was a sound fiscal move.

“For [Fiscal Year 2009] the average Ticketmaster ticket had a face value of $61.44 and a service fee of $8.49 and with the average concert ticket price in [Fiscal Year 2009] $62.47, the $8.49 average service fee is a good estimate for the concert industry as well,” Mogil wrote. “Just as exhibitors are willing to swap lower ticket pricing to drive attendance, same goes for concert promoters given that Live Nation generated $17.85 in ancillary revenue per patron in [Fiscal Year 2009] making the service-free promotions economically worthwhile particularly if run for a short period of time. While to be fair these promotions certainly reflect a still difficult consumer economy for discretionary items, they also reflect the different economics of ancillary compared to ticket sales.”

Shares of Live Nation stock are traded under the symbol LYV, and as of 2:45pm today, June 23, the price was up slightly to $10.99 per share. Mogil has retained the stock’s “Overweight” rating, meaning its returns are expected to outperform the rest of the industry over the next 12 months. His target price for the stock is $19.50.