World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research cut shares of World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Saturday.
According to Zacks, “World Wrestling Entertainment’s focus on increasing original content production, localization, subscriber growth, rise in TV rights fees and strategic initiatives have helped the stock to outperform the industry a year. Further, in the third-quarter fiscal 2017 the company not only reported better-than-expected results but also witnessed sharp increase in both the top and bottom lines. The company will continue to report record revenue growth as it has not only extended its earlier deal with different companies but also signed agreement with new service provider for airing its flagship program Raw and SmackDown in different countries. Management is optimistic about achieving another great year of revenues and adjusted OIBDA growth. However, continuous decline in pay-per-view and home entertainment revenues remains concerns.”
Several other research firms have also issued reports on WWE. Citigroup lowered shares of World Wrestling Entertainment from a buy rating to a neutral rating and increased their target price for the stock from $29.00 to $33.00 in a report on Saturday, December 30th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. started coverage on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment in a report on Wednesday, December 6th. They issued an overweight rating for the company. Benchmark reissued a buy rating and issued a $40.00 target price (up from $28.00) on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment in a report on Friday. Wells Fargo & Co raised shares of World Wrestling Entertainment from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Needham & Company LLC increased their target price on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment from $25.00 to $38.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $37.13.
World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The company reported $0.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $211.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $208.51 million. World Wrestling Entertainment had a net margin of 4.07% and a return on equity of 20.50%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.10 EPS. analysts predict that World Wrestling Entertainment will post 0.68 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 26th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.12 per share. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.36%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. World Wrestling Entertainment’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 114.29%.
In other World Wrestling Entertainment news, CEO Vincent K. Mcmahon sold 3,340,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.68, for a total transaction of $95,791,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 3,340,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $95,791,200. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 49.80% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Northern Trust Corp grew its holdings in World Wrestling Entertainment by 6.3% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 516,923 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,529,000 after buying an additional 30,596 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp grew its holdings in World Wrestling Entertainment by 5.5% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 872,209 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,763,000 after buying an additional 45,601 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in World Wrestling Entertainment by 10.2% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 222,028 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,523,000 after buying an additional 20,576 shares in the last quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund grew its holdings in World Wrestling Entertainment by 25.8% during the 2nd quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 40,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $833,000 after buying an additional 8,399 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sterling Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in World Wrestling Entertainment by 81.4% during the 2nd quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 18,064 shares of the company’s stock valued at $368,000 after buying an additional 8,105 shares in the last quarter. 49.59% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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About World Wrestling Entertainment
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc (WWE) is an integrated media and entertainment company. The Company’s segments are Network, Television, Home Entertainment, Digital Media, Live Events, Licensing, Venue Merchandise, WWEShop, WWE Studios, and Corporate and Other. The Company is engaged in the production and distribution of content through various channels, including its WWE Network, television rights agreements, pay-per-view event programming, live events, feature films, licensing of various WWE themed products, and the sale of consumer products featuring its brands.
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