Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:WWE) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report released on Monday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $28.00 price objective on the stock.
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 year-to-date. Recently, the company not only reported better-than-expected results for the third quarter of 2017 but also witnessed sharp increase in both the top and bottom lines. Following, the sturdy performance estimates have been showing an uptrend. 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.”
WWE has been the topic of a number of other reports. ValuEngine raised shares of World Wrestling Entertainment from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. FBN Securities cut shares of World Wrestling Entertainment from an outperform rating to a sector perform rating in a research note on Monday. KeyCorp reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $25.00 price target on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment in a research note on Tuesday, September 26th. Finally, Benchmark Co. reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $25.00 price target (down from $26.00) on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment in a research note on Sunday, July 30th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. World Wrestling Entertainment currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $25.25.
World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $186.40 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $176.19 million. World Wrestling Entertainment had a net margin of 4.56% and a return on equity of 17.05%. World Wrestling Entertainment’s revenue was up 13.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.14 EPS.
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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 26th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th will be paid a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.81%. World Wrestling Entertainment’s payout ratio is 106.67%.
In related news, SVP Blake Timothy Bilstad sold 1,801 shares of the 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 sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Mark Kowal sold 2,275 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.99, for a total transaction of $50,027.25. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 14,736 shares in the company, valued at $324,044.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 106,649 shares of company stock worth $2,255,029. 49.80% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WWE. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. acquired a new stake in World Wrestling Entertainment in the 1st quarter valued at about $229,000. Karp Capital Management Corp acquired a new stake in World Wrestling Entertainment in the 1st quarter valued at about $228,000. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its stake in World Wrestling Entertainment by 4.9% in the 1st quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 201,196 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,471,000 after acquiring an additional 9,355 shares during the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its stake in World Wrestling Entertainment by 0.9% in the 1st quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 69,236 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,538,000 after acquiring an additional 615 shares during the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its stake in World Wrestling Entertainment by 14,498.8% in the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 224,675 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,993,000 after acquiring an additional 223,136 shares during the last quarter. 49.47% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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