Live Nation reported a modest gain in profit for the quarter ended September 30, but the company’s revenues were down slightly. The results were...

Live Nation reported a modest gain in profit for the quarter ended September 30, but the company’s revenues were down slightly.

The results were released during a conference call Thursday, November 3, and showed that the company’s North American concert business did not improve compared to the same period in 2010.

Profit for the quarter reached $51.7 million, up from $51 million in the third quarter last year. Revenues dipped to $1.79 billion this year compared to $1.84 billion in 2010.

The concert production and ticketing company sold 12.3 million tickets during the quarter to shows in North America, which represented a 4 percent drop compared to last year. Overall, the number of concert tickets sold dropped 6 percent to 15.6 million.

Live Nation staged fewer shows at its amphitheaters during the quarter, but produced more than 300 more shows at all venues — or about 5,300 shows overall.

Despite the decrease in the number of concert tickets sold, Live Nation’s concert division saw operating income increase significantly to $49.2 million for the quarter, up from $30.4 million.

The primary reason for the improved operating income was better arena and stadium ticket sales, which were led by the hugely successful U2 tour that wrapped up during the summer. Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino said overall U2’s 360 Tour sold more than 7 million tickets worldwide and grossed more than $750 million.

Rapino called the quarter “terrific financially and strategically,” and added that he expects 2012 will be a good year for the company, in part because a strong slate of acts will tour in 2012.

Chairman Irving Azoff said the acts that will hit the road in 2012 will include Van Halen. “Everyone who can work wants to work next year,” Azoff said.

Before 2012, however, the company still has to face the upcoming fourth quarter. But Rapino said that the current NBA lockout could reduce ticket sales by $10 million if games are lost through the remainder of the year, resulting in a sales drop of 700,000 tickets.

In a research note to investors following the conference call, Ben Mogil, a director at investment bank Stifel Nicolaus, said that the results were still solid. He retained his “buy” rating for Live Nation stock.

The stock trades under the symbol LYV. The price of shares was down more than 7 percent, to under $9, as of 3 p.m. EDT today, November 4.