There comes a time in every wrasslin' match when the good guy battles back. World Wrestling Entertainment
WWE's fourth-quarter and year-end release is surprisingly hype-free -- unlike the pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganzas that feed the top line. Total revenues were up 20% to $126.7 million. The all-important total number of PPV buys was juiced by timing, which added an event to the quarter, but major shindigs like WrestleMania brought in solid increases on their own, and other revenue streams posted impressive gains.
The firm cut costs too, and in the end, it meant earnings of $0.28 per share, which compares favorably to last year's fourth-quarter loss of $0.06. The full-year profit of $0.70 per share also represents a major comeback over last year's loss of $0.28. (Keep in mind that there were heavier restructuring costs in the prior year.)
But here's where the match gets uglier. Revenues for the full year were flat, just more than $374 million, and management guidance for next year forecasts a bit less than that. Earnings are expected to come in just less than $0.50 per share, a 29% drop from this year's triumph. Both those numbers are lower than analysts' expectations.
Does that mean investors should toss their popcorn and run for the exits? I'd argue against it. Admittedly, I've got a soft spot for WWE. It's the exact opposite of complex businesses like GE,
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