SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
   Thu, December 1, 2005



News & Rumours
Bios
Obits
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania 30 photos
Video
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Columnists
Features
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback




Photo Galleries

Raw in Miami


Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame inductions


WWE Battleground


ROH in Detroit


Smackdown & Main Event in Ottawa


Raw in Montreal


WWE in Kingston







SCOREBOARD
PHOTO GALLERY
VIDEO GALLERY
COMMENT





WWE announces 2nd quarter profit
By SLAM! Wrestling


World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. released its quarterly report today, and showed a higher quarterly profit as revenue rose and overhead declined.

For the three months ended Oct. 28, WWE earned $11.7 million, or 17 cents per share, up sharply from $4.4 million, or 6 cents per share, a year ago. WWE said its latest results were boosted by $3.4 million from legal settlements.

Revenue grew 6 percent to $88.9 million from $83.9 million as a jump in sales of branded merchandise offset a drop in live event revenue. Branded merchandise revenue of $28.9 million was driven by home video sales, along with licensing and an increase in Web site orders.

A quarterly dividend of $0.24 on all Class A and Class B common shares was announced. Commenting on this announcement in a press release, Vincent K. McMahon, Chairman of the Board of Directors said, "After a thorough review of the company's strategic initiatives and capital structure, we believe this dividend increase is the best current use of our cash and beneficial to our shareholders. The company anticipates that future earnings growth and thoughtful capital deployment will allow WWE to pay this high level of dividend for the foreseeable future."

During a conference call this morning with analysts, WWE CEO Linda McMahon and CFO Michael Sileck stressed the success of the company internationally, and that growth is expected to continue in that sector.

Pay-per-view buyrates were up 24% from the same quarter last year, despite there being three PPVs instead of the four last year during the same quarter. An estimated 534,000 buys were made for SummerSlam (Hogan vs Michaels), up 38% from the same PPV last year (Orton-Benoit, 'Taker-JBL). June's Vengeance PPV (Batista-HHH) was up 73% from the previous year (HHH-Benoit).

Linda McMahon proudly proclaimed that 90% of their audience has moved with Smackdown from Thursdays to Fridays on UPN, despite there traditionally being less people watching television on Friday nights. Smackdown is the number one cable show for males 18-34 on Friday nights.

The WWE expects further growth in the home video market (up 12% to nearly $12 million), and said that the Undertaker DVD, Tombstone is already the company's second-biggest DVD seller, at 155,000 units, behind only The Rise and Fall of ECW. The Ultimate Warrior DVD is at 118,000 units, and the Jake Roberts DVD sold 72,000 copies in its first month.

According to Linda McMahon, the DVDs will continue to "key on our talent" and the controversies that may have surrounded them. In terms of the company's digital library, she said that the releases so far are only "hitting the tip of the iceberg."

Live events were down 35%. Most of this falloff came from a drop in live event sales to $12 million from $20.1 million, which the company attributed to fewer international events.

The biggest hit for the WWE in upcoming quarters comes with the switch of the Raw show to USA Network, where it no longer has the ability to sell ads on its show, an $19-million-a-year hit. However, Linda McMahon was bullish on advertising on the company's website, and said that, given time, the lost revenue from TV could be made up online. In particular, she explained that the WWE International website has many new deals in plans.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for earnings of 7 cents per share on sales of $82 million. WWE shares rose 36 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $13.87 in premarket trading.

-- with files from Canoe wire services