WWE Reports Record Revenue And Strong Q2 2018 Results, Vince McMahon Comments

WWE issued the following today:

WWE® REPORTS RECORD REVENUE AND STRONG Q2 2018 RESULTS

Raises Full Year 2018 Guidance

Second Quarter 2018 Highlights

* Revenues increased 31% to $281.6 million, which was the highest quarterly revenue in WWE history
* Operating income nearly doubled to $21.2 million from $10.7 million in the prior year quarter
* Adjusted OIBDA increased 79% to $43.5 million
* WWE completed agreements with USA Network and Fox Sports, effective October 1, 2019, which increase the average annual value (AAV) of WWE's U.S. distribution to 3.6 times that of the prior deal with NBCU
* WWE Network average paid subscribers increased 10% to 1.80 million paid subscribers, consistent with the Company's guidance
* Digital engagement continued to grow through the first six months of 2018 with video views up 58% to 14.4 billion and hours consumed up 71% to 509 million across digital and social media platforms

STAMFORD, Conn., July 26, 2018 - WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2018.

"We're pleased with our continued success in increasing the monetization of WWE content globally," said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "This success is evidenced by the completion of our new U.S. distribution agreements with USA Network and Fox Sports, the staging of another record-breaking WrestleMania, and the development of a 10-year strategic partnership with the Saudi General Sports Authority."

George Barrios, Co-President, added, "During the second quarter, we generated a 79% increase in Adjusted OIBDA. We are raising our 2018 Adjusted OIBDA target to a range of $160 million to $170 million, which would be an all-time record.4 By executing our strategy and engaging our passionate global fan base, we can continue to deepen the moat around our business. We believe this will enable us to drive long-term growth and shareholder value."

Second-Quarter Consolidated Results

Revenues increased 31% to $281.6 million driven by the increased monetization of content as reflected in the Media segment.

Operating Income nearly doubled to $21.2 million from $10.7 million in the prior year quarter reflecting increased profits from the Media segment, which were partially offset by an increase in management incentive compensation based on anticipated strong full-year results and the rise in the Company's stock price. The Company's Operating income margin was 8% as compared to 5% in the prior year quarter.

Adjusted OIBDA (which excludes stock compensation) increased 79% to $43.5 million. The Company's Adjusted OIBDA margin increased to 15% from 11% in the prior year quarter.

Net Income increased to $10.0 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, as compared to $5.1 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, in the prior year quarter.

Effective Tax Rate declined to 31% from 35% in the prior year quarter driven by the reduced federal income tax rate in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the "Tax Act").

During the third quarter of 2018, in connection with the vesting of annual stock-based awards, the Company expects to recognize an income tax benefit between $20 million and $25 million, as compared to $1.6 million during the prior year quarter. This benefit results from the difference between the deduction for tax purposes and the compensation cost recognized related to these awards. The increase in the tax benefit during the current year is driven by the increase in the Company's stock price. The Company expects this benefit to have a significant impact on its effective tax rate during the three months ended September 30, 2018.

Cash flows generated by operating activities reached $74.2 million and Free Cash Flow totaled $66.4 million as compared to $10.8 million and $2.6 million, respectively, in the prior year quarter.5 The growth in both measures was primarily due to improved operating performance.

Year-to-date 2018 Consolidated Results

For the six months ended June 30, 2018, Revenues increased 16% to $469.3 million from $403.0 million. Operating income increased to $43.0 million from $14.7 million, and Adjusted OIBDA increased to $78.7 million from $49.5 million. Net income increased to $24.8 million ($0.29 per diluted share) from $6.0 million ($0.08 per diluted share) in the prior year period.

Cash flows generated by operating activities reached $76.8 million and Free Cash Flow totaled $64.6 million as compared to $13.8 million and $1.3 million, respectively, in the prior year period.5 The growth in both measures was primarily due to improved operating performance.

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were $342 million as of June 30, 2018, and the Company estimates debt capacity under its revolving line of credit of approximately $100 million.

Read the full press release on the WWE Corporate website at this link.

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