WWE pins down strong first quarter results

By Kevin Zimmerman

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Stamford-based WWE has reported first-quarter net income of $13.9 million, or $0.18 per share, as compared to net income of $9.8 million, or $0.13 per share, in the prior year quarter.

Total revenue for the period was $171.1 million, compared with $151.3 million in the prior year quarter; this quarter’s total excludes the box office bonanza of its annual WrestleMania event, which took place in the second quarter (April 3) rather than the first quarter of 2015. WrestleMania generated revenue of approximately $15.7 million in the prior year quarter.

The company also reported that its subscription-based video streaming service WWE Network, launched in February 2014, averaged 1.29 million paid customers in the quarter, ending the period with 1.47 million subscribers. At the beginning of the second quarter, subscribers spiked even higher after WrestleMania , to a record 1.8 million. For the second quarter 2016, the company projects average paid subscribers of approximately 1.5 million.

“The sustained year-over-year growth of WWE Network, the global consumption of our video content across all platforms, and the recent record breaking attraction of WrestleMania demonstrate the increasing strength of our brands,” said WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. “We believe we can continue to leverage these strengths to drive long-term growth.”

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