World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:WWE) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:WWE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Monday, July 31st. The brokerage currently has $24.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of World Wrestling have outpaced the industry in the past six months primarily owing to record revenue growth. Recently, WWE and Groupe AB extended their partnership and signed multi-year agreement for airing WWE programming. The company also reached an agreement with Lagardère Sports that will assist it to acquire international sponsorship. We believe these initiatives will continue to boost the top line. Management is optimistic about achieving another great year of revenues and adjusted OIBDA growth. The company is targeting adjusted OIBDA of $100 million, which is nearly up 25% from 2016. WWE’s strategy of creating new content, implementing programs that will have higher customer attraction and retention power, introducing new features, expanding distribution platforms and entering into new regions will boost its revenues. However, continuous decline in pay-per-view and home entertainment revenues remains concerns.”

Several other analysts have also recently commented on WWE. Benchmark Co. restated a buy rating and issued a $25.00 target price (down from $26.00) on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment in a research report on Sunday, July 30th. BTIG Research restated a buy rating and issued a $25.00 target price on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment in a research report on Sunday, April 2nd. ValuEngine upgraded World Wrestling Entertainment from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Morgan Stanley began coverage on World Wrestling Entertainment in a research report on Friday, June 30th. They issued an equal weight rating and a $23.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Needham & Company LLC restated a buy rating and issued a $25.00 target price on shares of World Wrestling Entertainment in a research report on Tuesday, April 4th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. World Wrestling Entertainment has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $24.38.

Shares of World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) traded down 0.95% on Monday, reaching $20.90. The company had a trading volume of 248,411 shares. World Wrestling Entertainment has a 12 month low of $16.77 and a 12 month high of $23.14. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $21.02 and a 200-day moving average price of $20.91. The company has a market capitalization of $1.61 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 63.72 and a beta of 0.82.

World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.06 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.06. World Wrestling Entertainment had a return on equity of 13.07% and a net margin of 3.29%. The firm had revenue of $214.60 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $209.28 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.01 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that World Wrestling Entertainment will post $0.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 25th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.12 per share. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.30%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. World Wrestling Entertainment’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 154.84%.

In other news, SVP Mark Kowal sold 4,750 shares of World Wrestling Entertainment stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.44, for a total transaction of $101,840.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 17,011 shares in the company, valued at approximately $364,715.84. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Casey Collins sold 13,383 shares of World Wrestling Entertainment stock in a transaction on Monday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.23, for a total value of $284,121.09. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 43,926 shares in the company, valued at $932,548.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 73,133 shares of company stock worth $1,554,711. 49.80% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WWE. Karp Capital Management Corp bought a new position in shares of World Wrestling Entertainment during the first quarter worth about $228,000. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. bought a new position in shares of World Wrestling Entertainment during the first quarter worth about $229,000. Swiss National Bank boosted its position in shares of World Wrestling Entertainment by 8.3% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 60,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,338,000 after buying an additional 4,600 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank boosted its position in shares of World Wrestling Entertainment by 3.9% in the first quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 42,417 shares of the company’s stock worth $913,000 after buying an additional 1,603 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bbva Compass Bancshares Inc. boosted its position in shares of World Wrestling Entertainment by 14.3% in the first quarter. Bbva Compass Bancshares Inc. now owns 22,789 shares of the company’s stock worth $506,000 after buying an additional 2,858 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 50.11% of the company’s stock.

World Wrestling Entertainment Company Profile

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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