World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published 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 equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Citigroup downgraded shares of World Wrestling Entertainment from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. FBN Securities downgraded shares of World Wrestling Entertainment from an outperform rating to a sector perform rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. started coverage on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment in a research note on Wednesday, December 6th. They issued an overweight rating on the stock. Benchmark increased their target price on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment from $25.00 to $28.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 31st. Finally, KeyCorp reissued a hold rating on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. World Wrestling Entertainment currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $30.43.
World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.08. World Wrestling Entertainment had a net margin of 4.56% and a return on equity of 17.05%. The company had revenue of $186.40 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $176.19 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.14 earnings per share. World Wrestling Entertainment’s revenue was up 13.5% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts forecast that World Wrestling Entertainment will post 0.58 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, December 26th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 15th were paid a $0.12 dividend. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.51%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. World Wrestling Entertainment’s dividend payout ratio is currently 104.35%.
In other news, SVP Blake Timothy Bilstad sold 1,801 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.40, for a total value of $47,546.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Vincent K. Mcmahon sold 3,340,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.68, for a total transaction of $95,791,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 3,340,000 shares in the company, valued at $95,791,200. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 49.80% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Pinebridge Investments L.P. grew its holdings in shares of World Wrestling Entertainment by 1.0% in the second quarter. Pinebridge Investments L.P. now owns 5,073 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after purchasing an additional 51 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans grew its holdings in shares of World Wrestling Entertainment by 7.1% in the second quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 23,290 shares of the company’s stock worth $474,000 after purchasing an additional 1,550 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its holdings in shares of World Wrestling Entertainment by 6.3% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 31,110 shares of the company’s stock worth $634,000 after purchasing an additional 1,846 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of World Wrestling Entertainment by 8.1% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 28,026 shares of the company’s stock worth $571,000 after purchasing an additional 2,094 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of World Wrestling Entertainment by 0.8% in the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 314,605 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,409,000 after purchasing an additional 2,378 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 49.75% of the company’s stock.
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World Wrestling Entertainment Company Profile
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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