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Endeavor Group Holdings, which went public nearly a year ago, closed 2021 with a net loss but exceeded Wall Street revenue forecasts.
Losses totaled $16.7 million in the fourth quarter ending December 31, though that was more than three times narrower than the year-ago period’s $56.5 million.
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Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, is a cash-flow measure favored by many media companies, including Endeavor, because they feel it offers the best gauge of their financial status. Endeavor’s EBITDA came in at $229.5 million for the quarter, up from $172.6 million a year ago.
Revenue hit $1.5 billion, up from $960.9 million and ahead of analysts’ consensus expectation of $1.36 billion.
For all of 2021, revenue totaled $5.1 billion, exceeding the company’s guidance. In 2020, revenue reached $3.5 billion.
Endeavor owns talent agencies WME and IMG as well as mixed martial arts leader UFC and a range of other assets. Its representation division, which includes its agency businesses, saw revenue rocket 161% compared with the Covid-stricken year-ago period, reaching $717.9 million. The company credited the timing of content delivered by Endeavor Content, the operation now 80%-owned by Korea’s CJ ENM. Other drivers included higher client commissions and licensing and corporate spending on marketing and experiential activities, which had been nearly dormant during the pandemic. Adjusted EBITDA in the unit rose 138% to $118.4 million.
Investors appeared buoyed by the financials, sending Endeavor’s stagnating shares up 7% in after-market trading. They closed the regular session at $27.87, up 4%, but have mostly moved sideways since the IPO last spring.
The company offered guidance for 2022, forecasting total revenue between $5.2 billion and $5.45 billion and adjusted EBITDA of $1.07 billion to $1.12 billion.
“In our first year as a public company, we saw significant outperformance across our portfolio as the world began to emerge from the pandemic, with increased attendance at live events and continued heightened demand for premium content,” CEO Ariel Emanuel said in the earnings release. “Given the unique position we occupy in the content landscape, we remain confident about our ability to continue leveraging trends, unlocking growth, and delivering long-term value.”
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