With WrestleMania less than a week away, one Wall Street analyst likes what he sees in the World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) network subscriber trends.
KeyBanc analyst Evan Wingren reiterated his Overweight rating and $104 price target for WWE.
KeyBanc’s Key First Look data suggests the WWE Network generated low- to mid-single-digit subscriber growth in the first quarter, and Wingren says WrestleMania should be a major near-term catalyst for subscriptions and brand awareness.
WWE previously guided for 2 percent subscriber growth in the first quarter, but the KeyBanc data suggests 4.7 percent growth. WWE recently announced the company surpassed 1 billion total social media followers worldwide, and Wingren says WrestleMania will be a big driver of social media engagement and online search volume.
TV viewership declines for WWE’s flagship show “Monday Night Raw” have accelerated in 2019, down 20 percent in the first quarter. However, given the massive size of the company’s recent U.S. contracts with Comcast Corporation (NYSE: CMCSA) and Fox Corp (NASDAQ: FOXA), investors shouldn’t be too concerned with traditional TV ratings.
Wingren also says there are plenty of catalysts ahead for WWE stock in the medium and long term.
“After the TV rights renewal cycle, other growth at WWE will likely be driven by creation of incremental content for new platforms, advertising revenue from ad-supported viewing across multiple platforms, and modest OTT subscriber growth,” Wingren wrote in a note.
WWE's stock traded around $86.28 per share Monday morning.
Women Receive Top 'Main Event' Billing At WWE's WrestleMania For The First Time Ever
Photo courtesy of WWE.
Latest Ratings for WWE
|Mar 2019||MKM Partners||Maintains||Buy||Buy|
|Dec 2018||Loop Capital||Initiates Coverage On||Hold|
|Nov 2018||JP Morgan||Upgrades||Neutral||Overweight|
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