WWE Entertainment, Inc. Reports First Quarter Results: Revenue of $90.7 Million and Earnings Per Share of $0.16
"Our first quarter earnings are largely within the range that we expected," said Linda E. McMahon Chief Executive Officer. "We were aware that the year-over-year comparisons would be affected by lower ratings and increases in operating expenses and we included this in our most recent guidance. Our business plans assume growth in our key business drivers as the introduction of new story lines and talent take hold."
"There are indications that the drivers have in fact responded as evidenced by our ratings. Ratings for Raw is War increased 17% over the past four weeks while ratings for SmackDown! increased 13% over the same period. Our July pay-per-view, Invasion/Fully Loaded, set an all-time record for this event with an initial estimate of approximately 681,000 buys, an increase of 70% compared to the same event last year," concluded Mrs. McMahon.
Quarterly Results by Business Segment
Live and Televised Entertainment
Total revenues decreased 4% to $72.4 million compared to $75.2 million in the prior year quarter.
• Live Event revenues - There were seven fewer events in the quarter (43 events versus 50 events) compared to the same period last year. Event revenues were $14.9 million in the quarter ended July 27, 2001 compared to $18.6 million in the same period last year. Attendance was approximately 415,100 compared to 611,500 last year.
• Pay-Per-View revenues - In period buys for the quarter were 1,431,000 as compared to 1,284,000 last year, an increase of 11%. There were approximately 167,000 out of period buys in the quarter versus 515,000 in the first quarter last year. As a result, total pay-per-view revenues declined 12% quarter versus quarter.
• Television Rights Fees revenues more than doubled compared to the same period last year principally reflecting the impact of the agreement with Viacom that was effective as of last September. The increase in rights fees in international markets was a result of the combination of renegotiated contracts and new deals.
• Television Advertising revenues decreased 17% largely due to lower sell through on Sunday Night Heat which is broadcast on MTV.
Total revenues for branded merchandise decreased 32% to $18.3 million in the quarter compared to $26.7 million in the prior year quarter principally due to a decrease in licensing revenues resulting from the timing of cash receipts from our licensees.
Selling, General & Administrative Expenses
SG&A expenses for the quarter were $25.6 million. While the expenses were $5.0 million higher than last year, the prior year's SG&A expenses included a credit for the receipt of $2.2 million relating to the settlement of a lawsuit in the Company's favor. Additionally, the Company incurred increased overhead expenses related to its entertainment based complex in Times Square, advertising/promotion expenses, and consulting fees in part related to marketing and corporate communications initiatives.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include the conditions of the markets for live events, broadcast television, cable television, pay-per-view, Internet, food and beverage, entertainment, professional sports, and licensed merchandise; acceptance of the Company's brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to litigation and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the SEC. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated.
Investors: Thomas Gibbons, Vice President Investor Relations, WWE Entertainment, Inc.
Media : Judd Everhart Director Corporate Communications, WWE Entertainment, Inc.