World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (NYSE:WWE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “After reporting earnings beat in the trailing three quarters, World Wrestling Entertainment succumbed to negative earnings surprise in second-quarter 2016. Despite the earnings miss by a huge margin, investors were pretty impressed by the record revenue in the reported quarter. WWE operates in the highly competitive market of entertainment video. Competition in the entertainment video space has increased significantly and the company expects it to become more intense in the coming days. Moreover, decline in pay-per revenues is also a major concern for the company. Nevertheless, World Wrestling Entertainment is executing a five-part strategy to strengthen and expand the WWE Network, which includes creating new content, implementing programs that will have higher customer attraction and retention power, introducing new features, expanding distribution platforms and entering into new regions.”
Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Benchmark Co. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $21.86 target price on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment in a report on Monday, August 1st. Wells Fargo & Co. reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $25.00 target price on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment in a report on Wednesday, June 29th. Pacific Crest reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $22.00 target price (up from $21.00) on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment in a report on Thursday, June 16th. Finally, TheStreet downgraded World Wrestling Entertainment from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $21.54.
World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) opened at 21.04 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 67.65 and a beta of 0.79. World Wrestling Entertainment has a 12-month low of $14.20 and a 12-month high of $21.55. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $20.58 and its 200-day moving average price is $18.64.
World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.01 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.03 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $199 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $182.56 million. World Wrestling Entertainment had a return on equity of 13.38% and a net margin of 3.40%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 32.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.07 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that World Wrestling Entertainment will post $0.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 26th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were paid a dividend of $0.12 per share. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.28%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. World Wrestling Entertainment’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 154.84%.
In related news, insider Michael J. Luisi sold 7,875 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.39, for a total transaction of $168,446.25. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 64,175 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,372,703.25. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Mark Kowal sold 6,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.92, for a total value of $135,980.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 21,072 shares in the company, valued at $440,826.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 55.10% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its position in World Wrestling Entertainment by 169.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 2,010,653 shares of the company’s stock worth $35,508,000 after buying an additional 1,264,908 shares during the period. Artemis Investment Management LLP bought a new stake in shares of World Wrestling Entertainment during the second quarter worth approximately $10,621,000. Majedie Asset Management Ltd raised its stake in shares of World Wrestling Entertainment by 51.3% in the second quarter. Majedie Asset Management Ltd now owns 1,500,925 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,632,000 after buying an additional 508,611 shares in the last quarter. Lindsell Train Ltd raised its stake in shares of World Wrestling Entertainment by 7.2% in the second quarter. Lindsell Train Ltd now owns 6,117,681 shares of the company’s stock worth $112,627,000 after buying an additional 410,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Marshall Wace LLP bought a new stake in shares of World Wrestling Entertainment during the second quarter worth approximately $2,537,000. 47.54% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
World Wrestling Entertainment Company Profile
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc (WWE) is a media and entertainment company. 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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