World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) has jumped 8.7% and gotten within pennies of its 52-week high after posting Q4 earnings where profits fell short but record revenues easily beat expectations.
Revenues grew 17% and the company swung to an earnings gain of $8M from a year-ago loss.
Revenue by segment: Network, $43.7M (up 7.1%); Television, $68.6M (up 23.4%); Home Entertainment, $4.2M (up 61.5%); Digital Media, $8.5M (up 11.8%); Live Events, $38.6M (up 17.3%); Licensing, $10.1M (up 5.2%); Venue merchandise, $4.9M (up 11.4%); WWEShop, $12.8M (up 28%); WWE Studios, $2.4M (up 33%).
For Q1 2017, the company's forecasting operating income of $16M-$20M and adjusted OIBDA of $23M-$27M (light of consensus for $33M). For 2017, it's guiding to operating income of $70M and record adjusted OIBDA of $100M (vs. $101.3M consensus).
World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) and SNICKERSwill come together once again for WrestleMania 33.
WWE’s pop-culture extravaganza, will take place on Sunday, April 2, 2017 at the Orlando Citrus Bowl and will broadcast live around the world on WWE Network.
“We are excited to partner with SNICKERS for the second straight year as we aim to raise the bar in bringing their award-winning ‘You’re Not You When You’re Hungry’ campaign to life in entertaining ways that only our WWE Superstars can,” said Michelle Wilson, WWE Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer. “As the exclusive presenting partner of one of the biggest sports and entertainment events in the world, SNICKERS will reach our global fan base that consumes content across all platforms.”
The day after it eked out a gain following an earnings miss, World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) gave up 5.8% today as analysts came in with downgrades.
Shares had finished up 0.3% after opening to the downside yesterday. Today, Wells Fargo downgraded shares to Market Perform, from Outperform, and Pacific Crest downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight and pulled its price target. Deutsche Bank, meanwhile, downgraded to Sell.
The question of M&A came up (spurred, as it usually is recently, by AT&T/Time Warner) on the company's earnings call, put by BTIG's Brandon Ross. "Again, we're open to anything," says CEO Vince McMahon, "so it's not a question of if the right deal came along, it's one of those things where you do, to do any good reviews, we're listening."
"The old 'content is king' is true, maybe truer today than it's ever been. So we're open for business," he said.
FBN's Robert Routh has a few ideas ("admittedly only pure speculation") about strategic options: "Given the existing partnership with NBCUniversal it seems Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) could be a logical fit for WWE, as could MSG (NYSE:MSGN) or possibly even Live Nation (NYSE:LYV)."
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE -1.3%) is off slightly today on Q2 profits that missed expectations despite a solid revenue showing.
Revenues grew 32% to a record $199M; pro forma revenues of $169.6M (up 13%) exclude timing impact of WrestleMania, which happened in Q2 this year vs. the first quarter of 2015. WWE says the effect of WrestleMania on ticket, merchandise and pay-per-view increased Q2 revenue by $29.4M and reduced OIBDA by $0.2M (no net impact on EPS).
The WWE Network hit 1.52M average paid subscribers (up 25%).
For Q3, it expects OIBDA of $24M-$28M (up from 2015's $23.4M due to strong Live Events performance and increased monetization of video). It's forecasting average paid WWE Network subscribers of 1.49M (up 27% Y/Y but down about 2% sequentially due to seasonal effects).
For the full year, "if recent overarching trends regarding the acquisition and retention of subscribers continue over the remainder of 2016, management continues to believe average paid subscriber growth would be at the upper end of its range and 2016 Adjusted OIBDA would be between $80M and $85M."