WWE underwhelms in Q3 earnings

By Phil Hall

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Stamford-based World Wrestling Entertainment reported third quarter revenue of $164.2 million and earnings per share of 14 cents, below analyst estimates of $175.04 million on revenue and 17 cents in earnings per share.
The company also reported $24.5 million in operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) and $18.3 million in operating income.
In terms of audience growth during the third quarter, WWE Network increased its subscriber base by 24 percent on a year-over-year basis, reaching 1.46 million paid subscribers. The company also cited a net promoter score analysis that ranked it in second place among U.S. over the top services during the third quarter, with only Netflix achieving a higher ranking.
For the fourth quarter, WWE is aiming for an adjusted OIBDA of approximately $20 million to $24 million, with operating income between $12 million and $16 million, and average paid subscribers to WWE Network of 1.40 million – a 4 percent decline from the third quarter numbers but a 13 percent rise from the fourth quarter of 2015.
“During the quarter, we continued to effectively execute our content strategy, which has resulted in record revenues to-date in 2016 and increased consumption across our media platforms,” said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. “This growth illustrates meaningful progress against our long-term strategic plan and provides the foundation for achieving our 2017 financial objectives.”

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