WWE issued the following today:
WWE® Reports Record Revenue and Q2 2017 Results
Second Quarter 2017 Highlights
* Revenue increased 8% to a record $214.6 million as WWE's Live Event and Network segments achieved their highest quarterly revenue in Company history
* Operating income was $10.7 million and Adjusted OIBDA1 of $18.1 million was essentially in line with the Company's guidance
* WWE Network averaged more than 1.63 million average paid subscribers over the second quarter 2017, which represented an 8% increase from the second quarter 2016
* Launched localized weekly TV shows in India and Middle East. WWE Sunday Dhamaal in Hindi with Sony Pictures Networks and WWE Wal3ooha in Arabic with OSN feature highlights of Raw and SmackDown
* Completed multi-year agreement to televise Raw and SmackDown on SuperSport, Africa's premier sports broadcaster. WWE programming will be broadcast live for the first time in more than 50 countries
* Through the first six months of the year, digital engagement metrics continued to grow with video views up 18% to 9.1 billion and social media followers increasing 19% to 800 million
* Global sponsorship revenue increased 25% year-to-date, driven by new deals with blue-chip companies (KFC, Nestle and AT&T) and gaming partners (Psyonix, Square Enix & Activision)
* Lagardère Sports, a best-in-class sports marketing agency, was selected to further develop the Company's global sponsorship business
* Completed agreements to develop new mobile games with GLU Mobile, maker of Racing Rivals and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, and Sega, creator of Sonic the Hedgehog. Sega's WWE Tap Mania launched July 20
* Extended Mattel's global master toy licensing agreement through 2021. WWE action figures continued to rank among the top three action figure properties in the U.S.
Selected WrestleMania Highlights
WrestleMania (April 2, 2017) broke the attendance record for the Orlando Citrus Bowl, attracting 75,245 fans, and reached a record 1.95 million global households on WWE Network alone, making it the most-watched WrestleMania in history. WrestleMania was made available live in China for the first time on PPTV Sports via pay-per-view with a choice of Mandarin or English commentary. During WrestleMania Week, WWE Network subscribers watched 22.5 million hours of content, averaging approximately 13 hours per subscriber. WrestleMania was the most social event in WWE history with 5.19 million interactions on Facebook and Twitter during the broadcast alone. WrestleMania accounted for nearly 30% of all social TV interactions on April 2nd, surpassing the Country Music Awards (13%), The Walking Dead Season Finale (10%) and MLB Opening Day on ESPN (10%). During WrestleMania, the Company launched its first Snapchat show yielding over 5 million unique viewers. A series of Snapchat shows, co-produced by NBCU, will start later this year.
STAMFORD, Conn.--WWE (NYSE:WWE) today announced financial results for its second quarter 2017. For the quarter, the Company reported Net income of $5.1 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, as compared to Net Income of $0.8 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, in the prior year quarter. Operating income increased to $10.7 million from $1.5 million. Excluding items affecting comparability, Adjusted OIBDA1 increased to $18.1 million from $7.5 million.
"We are pleased with our ongoing efforts to execute our multi-platform content strategy as evidenced by the continued year-over-year growth of WWE Network, the increased production of localized programming across platforms and markets, and the attraction of new sponsors," stated Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
George Barrios, WWE Chief Strategy & Financial Officer, added "We achieved record revenues in our Network and Live event segments, continued to grow WWE Network's subscriber base, and generated results that were essentially in line with our guidance. As we continue to drive WWE's digital and direct-to-consumer transformation, we remain on track to achieve our 2017 financial objectives with record revenue, record Adjusted OIBDA results, and record subscriber levels."
Q3 2017 Business Outlook
For the third quarter 2017, the Company projects average paid subscribers to WWE Network of 1.54 million (+/- 2%). The Company also estimates third quarter 2017 Adjusted OIBDA of approximately $31 million to $35 million.2 This range represents an expected year-over-year increase from $24.5 million in the third quarter 2016 primarily due to the contractual escalation of television rights fees and continued growth of WWE Network subscribers.
WWE is unable to provide a reconciliation of third quarter guidance to GAAP measures as, at this time, WWE cannot accurately determine all of the adjustments that would be required.
WWE management continues to expect the Company to achieve another year of record revenue and has targeted Adjusted OIBDA of $100 million, which would be an all-time record (up approximately 25% from 2016 Adjusted OIBDA of $80.1 million).2 Given that the Company generated Adjusted OIBDA of $36.7 million in the first half of 2017 and projects Adjusted OIBDA of $31 million to $35 million for the third quarter, reaching the full year target indicates a range of fourth quarter results of at least $28 million to $32 million. Estimates for the third and fourth quarter 2017 represent significant year-over-year growth, which is based on sustained revenue growth and more favorable year-over-year comparisons in the Company's fixed cost base.
Comparability of Results
For the second quarter of 2017, Operating income included $1.1 million in film impairment charges. For the six months ended June 30, 2017, Operating income included $5.6 million in expenses primarily related to certain legal matters and other contractual obligations, and $3.2 million in film impairment charges. As these items impact the comparability of results on a year-over-year basis, they have been excluded from the Company's 2017 Adjusted OIBDA. For the comparable periods of 2016, there were no such items that impacted year-over-year comparability.
A reconciliation of 2017 Adjusted OIBDA to Operating income (GAAP) for the three and six month periods ended June 30, 2017 can be found in the supplemental schedules on pages 14-16 of this release.
Three Months Ended June 30, 2017 - Results by Region & Business Segment
Revenues increased 8% to a quarterly record high $214.6 million from the prior year quarter, with the increase driven by the monetization of video content across the Company's Television, Network and Digital Media business segments. North American revenues increased 6%, or $9.6 million, primarily due to the contractual escalation of television rights fees, the growth of WWE Network subscribers, and the impact of airing three additional episodes of the licensed reality series, Total Divas. These factors were partially offset by a $3.8 million reduction in ticket sales and venue merchandise at WrestleMania that primarily reflected lower stadium seating capacity (Citrus Bowl, Orlando in Q2 2017 vs AT&T Stadium, Texas in Q2 2016). Revenues from outside North America increased 12%, or $6.0 million, driven by higher television rights fees, increased consumer product sales in the EMEA and APAC regions, as well as a rise in Live Event revenue with the staging of seven additional events across APAC and Latin America. Changes in foreign exchange rates adversely impacted revenues by $1.8 million, primarily from the Live Events and Network segments in the EMEA region.
Three Months Ended June 30, 2017 – Segment Performance Commentary
The year-over-year changes in the Company's financial performance were driven by its Network, Television, Live Events, Digital Media, and Corporate & Other business segments. A discussion of selected business segments is provided in the narrative below. Refer to the second quarter 2017 Form 10-Q for management's discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations pertaining to all segments.
Revenues from the Company's Media division increased 13% to $132.2 million, primarily due to the growth of WWE Network and the contractual escalation of television rights fees, as well as the impact of airing additional episodes of the licensed reality series, Total Divas.
* Network revenues, which include revenue generated by WWE Network and pay-per-view, increased 6% to $54.9 million. WWE Network subscription revenue increased 7% to $49.1 million from $45.9 million in the prior year quarter based on an 8% year-over-year increase in average paid subscribers to over 1.63 million.3
Network segment OIBDA increased $8.7 million due to the growth in WWE Network subscription revenue, and as anticipated, lower programming expenses from the broadcast timing of original content, namely Camp WWE and Swerved, which aired in the prior year quarter.
The Company continued to increase the global subscriber base of WWE Network, which had 1.57 million total paid subscribers (1.16 million U.S. paid subscribers and 0.41 million international paid subscribers) at the end of the second quarter, which represented a 4% increase from June 30, 2016.
WWE Network content, including the Company's premier event, WrestleMania (April 2, 2017), other pay-per-views, original series, NXT Takeover, and specials have continued to drive viewer engagement. During the quarter, the Company introduced compelling new content for WWE Network, including live in-ring programs, such as the UK Championship Special, as well as new episodes of WWE 24 and the weekly series 205 Live. The Company added more than 75 hours of original content to WWE Network's featured programming and more than 800 hours of archival content, which resulted in an on-demand library of over 8,300 hours at quarter-end.
* Television revenues increased 18% to $66.2 million from $56.1 million in the prior year quarter primarily due to contractual increases in key distribution agreements. Revenue growth also reflected the impact of WWE's reality series, Total Divas, which aired six episodes in the current year quarter as compared to three episodes in the prior year quarter.
Live Event revenues increased to a quarterly record of $52.8 million as compared to $51.9 million in the prior year quarter. Increased revenue from the staging of 11 additional events worldwide was partially offset by a reduction in WrestleMania ticket revenue, which primarily reflected lower stadium attendance capacity.
* There were 92 total events (excluding NXT) in the current quarter, consisting of 66 events in North America and 26 events in international markets, as compared to 81 events in the prior year quarter, including 62 events in North America and 19 in international markets.
* North American live event revenues were $40.0 million in the current year quarter as compared to $40.9 million in the prior year quarter. Increased revenue from the staging of four additional events in North America was more than offset by lower WrestleMania ticket sales, which derived from the aforementioned reduction in stadium capacity and attendance. Excluding the impact of WrestleMania in both the current and prior year quarter, average attendance and average ticket price were essentially flat to the prior year quarter.
* International live event revenue increased 16% to $12.8 million from $11.0 million in the prior year quarter. The staging of seven additional events during the quarter and a 12% increase in average ticket price to $72.75 (which was adversely impacted by changes in foreign exchange rates) was partially offset by a 21% reduction in average attendance to 6,300 fans. The year-over-year changes in average attendance and ticket prices were due, in part, to changes in the mix of venues and territories.
As part of the Company's international growth strategy, it announced the return of a WWE live event to China with its first-ever show in Shenzhen on Sunday, September 17, 2017.
Consumer Products Division
Revenues from Consumer Products were essentially flat to the prior year quarter. WWE Shop revenues increased 12% to $8.4 million with higher online sales of merchandise at the Company's e-commerce sites. Licensing revenue increased 4% to $9.4 million primarily due to higher sales of the Company's mobile video game, WWE Supercard. These growth drivers were offset by a $1.9 million reduction in the sale of branded merchandise at the Company's live event venues that stemmed from lower stadium capacity and attendance at its premiere annual event, WrestleMania (as described above).
Corporate and Other
Corporate and Other expenses were $51.7 million in the current year quarter as compared to $49.4 million in the prior year quarter. As defined, these expenses include corporate G&A expenses as well as Business Support costs, such as sales, marketing, and talent development costs, which are not allocated to specific segments. The $2.3 million rise in Corporate & Other expense was predominantly due to the timing of key strategic initiatives and an increase in staff costs.
Operating income increased to $10.7 million as compared to $1.5 million in the prior year quarter, reflecting the increased monetization of content across all platforms driven by the Company's Network and Television segments. This increase in income was partially offset by a decline in Live Event and Venue Merchandise profits, and $1.1 million in film impairment charges that have been excluded from Adjusted OIBDA (see discussion of Adjusted OIBDA below). The Company's Operating income margin was 5% as compared to less than 1% in the prior year quarter.
Adjusted Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization (Adjusted OIBDA)
Adjusted OIBDA increased to $18.1 million from $7.5 million in the prior year quarter. The $10.6 million increase was primarily due to the increased monetization of content as reflected in the Company's Media Division. Media division profits increased $14.5 million due to the growth in WWE Network subscription revenue and lower programming costs reflecting the timing of new original programming, the contractual escalation of key distribution agreements, as well as increased global sponsorship sales. These factors were partially offset by a $3.0 million decline in combined Live Event and Venue Merchandise profits, which stemmed from higher event operating costs and lower attendance capacity at WrestleMania. Additionally, the overall increase in profits was reduced by the timing of Corporate & Other expense (as described above). The Company's Adjusted OIBDA margin increased to 8% from 4% in the prior year quarter.
Six Months Ended June 30, 2017 - Results Overview
Total revenues for the six months ended June 30, 2017 were $403.0 million as compared to $370.1 million in the prior year period. Net income was $6.0 million, or $0.08 per share, as compared to Net income of $14.7 million, or $0.19 per share, in the prior year period. Operating income was $14.7 million as compared to $23.5 million. Excluding items affecting comparability, Adjusted OIBDA1 increased to $36.7 million from $35.1 million.
Six Months Ended June 30, 2017 – Segment Performance Commentary
Revenues increased 9% to $403.0 million with growth driven by the Company's Television, Network and Live Events segments. North American revenues increased 9%, or $25.8 million, primarily due to the contractual escalation of television rights fees, the growth of WWE Network subscribers, and the performance of Live Events, which reflected the staging of 23 additional events in the current period. Revenues from outside North America increased 8%, or $7.1 million, driven by higher television rights fees, particularly in the APAC region, the growth of WWE Network subscribers, and the staging of five additional live events in APAC and Latin America. Changes in foreign exchange rates adversely impacted revenues by $3.1 million, primarily from the Live Events and Network segments in the EMEA region.
Revenues from the Company's Media division increased 10% to $250.8 million from $227.2 million in the prior year period primarily due to the contractual escalation of television rights fees and growth of WWE Network subscription revenue.
Live Event revenues increased 10% to $84.9 million from $77.2 million in the prior year period primarily due to the staging of 28 additional global events (23 in North America and 5 International).
Consumer Products Division
Revenues from our Consumer Products division increased to $59.7 million from $58.5 million in the prior year period, with growth driven by higher sales of branded merchandise through WWE Shop's e-commerce sites and distribution channels including Amazon.
WWE Studios recognized revenue of $4.8 million as compared to revenue of $5.2 million in the prior year period. The decrease in revenue was primarily due to the performance and timing of results from the Company's portfolio of movies.
Corporate and Other
Corporate and Other expenses were $110.6 million as compared to $91.5 million in the prior year period. As defined, these expenses include corporate G&A expenses as well as Business Support costs such as sales, marketing, international management and talent development costs, which are not allocated to specific segments. For the current period, Corporate and Other included non-recurring expenses of $5.6 million primarily related to certain legal matters and other contractual obligations. Excluding these costs, Corporate and Other expenses increased $13.5 million primarily due to increases in stock compensation ($2.3 million) that derived from a rise in the Company's stock price and increases in other expenses ($11.2 million) that primarily reflected the timing of key strategic initiatives and an increase in staff costs.
Operating income was $14.7 million as compared to $23.5 million in the prior year period, primarily due to the $8.8 million related to items that impacted the comparability of results on a year-over-year basis (as described on page 2 of this release). The Company's Operating income margin was 4% as compared to 6% in the prior year period.
Adjusted Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization (Adjusted OIBDA)
Adjusted OIBDA increased 5% to $36.7 million primarily due to growth in WWE Network subscriptions and the contractual escalation of key content distribution agreements. These factors were partially offset by the rise in Corporate and Other expense, which derived predominately from timing (as described above). The Company's Adjusted OIBDA margin was 9% in the current and prior year period.
Cash Flows & Liquidity
Cash generated from operating activities was $13.8 million in the current six-month period, compared to $2.8 million in the prior year period, as favorable changes in working capital more than offset the impact of lower operating performance.
Free Cash Flow increased $14.0 million as compared to the prior year period reflecting the change in cash from operating activities and a $3.0 million decrease in capital expenditures.5
As of June 30, 2017, the Company held $262.3 million in cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments, and estimates debt capacity under its revolving line of credit of approximately $100 million.