August 3, 2012

WWE posts lower 2Q profit on TV network costs

Stamford's WWE, which produces wrestling events such as WrestleMania and television shows such as Raw and SmackDown, said Thursday that its second-quarter profit fell 17 percent as it booked costs for its planned television network, The Associated Press reports.

The company, formerly known as World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., said it earned $11.9 million, or 16 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30. That was down from $14.3 million, or 19 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding $1.7 million in costs related to its potential network, WWE would have earned 17 cents per share in the latest period.

Revenue slipped less than 1 percent to $141.6 million as a 17 percent increase in pay-per-view buys offset a decline in video game sales.

North American revenue increased 2 percent, lifted by WrestleMania and the pay-per-view business. Revenue abroad declined 8 percent due to a decrease in WWE's live events and consumer products businesses, the company said.

Analysts had expected earnings of 15 cents per share on revenue of $141.8 million, according to FactSet.

Looking ahead, the company said 2012 earnings will grow 5 percent to 15 percent year-over-year.

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