WWE issued the following press release today, reporting on its 1st quarter earnings for 2014:
WWE® Reports 2014 First Quarter Results
STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–WWE today announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2014. For the quarter, the Company reported a Net loss of $8.0 million, or $0.11 per share, compared to Net income of $3.0 million, or $0.04 per share, in the first quarter last year. The decline in Net income was driven by the Company’s launch of an over-the-top (OTT) digital network and lower results from its video game licensing business, due primarily to the transition to a new licensee. These factors were partially offset by improved results from the Company’s filmed entertainment business.
“For the quarter, our earnings reflected the launch of our WWE Network, which delivers unparalleled depth of programming, ease of use and value to our fans. With almost 670,000WWE Network subscribers in the U.S. and nearly 400,000 domestic pay-per-view buying homes for WrestleMania 30, we are confident that we will reach our goal of 1 million subscribers by the end of 2014,” stated Vince McMahon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “To drive WWE Network subscriber growth, we are highly focused on further developing our programming, expanding distribution platforms and executing customer acquisition campaigns. The expansion of WWE Network in the U.S. and international markets will provide a platform for long-term growth over the coming years.”
“As we launched WWE Network, we invested in marketing, programming and customer service. Although our earnings declined in the quarter, our performance surpassed our guidance, which targeted a range of Net loss from $12 million to $15 million,” added George Barrios, Chief Strategy & Financial Officer. “Regarding our TV licensing agreements, we are continuing to negotiate with potential distribution partners in the U.S. and India. Over the past several years, we have invested in people, content and technology, and we continue to believe the successful execution of our key initiatives could potentially result in doubling or tripling our 2012 OIBDA results to a range of $125 million to $190 million by 2015. We will provide more information and further guidance for 2014 and 2015 as appropriate.”
For the second quarter 2014, the Company expects Net income to decline sequentially from the first quarter this year by a range of $7 million to $10 million, resulting in a Net loss of $15 million to $18 million. The decline in earnings reflects increased Live Event profits due toWrestleMania 30, which are expected to be more than offset by increased Network costs, a seasonal decrease in Licensing and lower results from Home Entertainment (reflecting difficult comparisons to first quarter adjustments).
There will be a conference call at 11:00 AM ET today with Vince McMahon and WWE’s shareholders on WWE’s Corporate website at http://corporate.wwe.com.