Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $109.00 target price on the stock.
According to Zacks, “WWE’s focus on increasing original content, subscriber growth, rise in TV rights fees and monetization of video content across digital and DTC platforms bode well. These not only led the stock to surge and outpace the industry in a year but also helped deliver impressive performance. The company delivered second straight quarter of earnings beat, when it reported fourth-quarter 2018 results. Net revenues also outdid the Zacks Consensus Estimate after missing the same in the preceding quarter. Notably, both the top and bottom lines grew year over year. For 2019, management anticipates to attain record revenue of about $1 billion. With revenue expected to increase considerably courtesy of new U.S. distribution agreements, management is aiming to attain adjusted OIBDA of at least $200 million for 2019. However, fall in ticket sales during live events, lower number of live events and rising costs at WWE Network pose concerns.”
Several other research analysts also recently issued reports on WWE. Wolfe Research reiterated an outperform rating and issued a $105.00 target price on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment in a research note on Thursday, March 14th. KeyCorp set a $104.00 target price on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 23rd. Cannonball Research downgraded shares of World Wrestling Entertainment from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $88.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Monday, April 1st. Loop Capital assumed coverage on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment in a research note on Friday, December 21st. They issued a hold rating and a $85.00 target price on the stock. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their target price on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment to $95.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Friday, February 8th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $101.31.
World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The company reported $0.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.32 by $0.14. The firm had revenue of $272.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $255.01 million. World Wrestling Entertainment had a net margin of 10.71% and a return on equity of 34.02%. The business’s revenue was up 28.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.20 earnings per share. On average, research analysts anticipate that World Wrestling Entertainment will post 1.24 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 25th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 14th will be issued a dividend of $0.12 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 13th. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.50%. World Wrestling Entertainment’s payout ratio is 42.86%.
In other news, insider George A. Barrios sold 40,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.80, for a total transaction of $3,352,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider George A. Barrios sold 60,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.52, for a total transaction of $4,891,200.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 287,103 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $23,404,636.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 3,304,427 shares of company stock valued at $269,243,779 over the last three months. 43.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of World Wrestling Entertainment by 1.1% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,331,594 shares of the company’s stock valued at $398,376,000 after purchasing an additional 58,542 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its holdings in World Wrestling Entertainment by 529,456.5% during the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,011,453 shares of the company’s stock valued at $75,576,000 after buying an additional 1,011,262 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in World Wrestling Entertainment by 16.6% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 504,124 shares of the company’s stock valued at $37,668,000 after buying an additional 71,849 shares during the last quarter. Samlyn Capital LLC purchased a new stake in World Wrestling Entertainment during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $32,140,000. Finally, Norges Bank purchased a new stake in World Wrestling Entertainment during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $31,712,000. 64.11% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About World Wrestling Entertainment
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc, an integrated media and entertainment company, engages in the sports entertainment business in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific, and Latin America. It operates in three segments: Media, Live Events, and Consumer Products. The Media segment engages in the production and monetization of long-form and short-form media content across various platforms, including WWE Network, pay television, and digital and social media, as well as filmed entertainment.
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