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For beginners, it can seem like a good idea (and an exciting prospect) to buy a company that tells a good story to investors, even if it completely lacks a track record of revenue and profit. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.'
If, on the other hand, you like companies that have revenue, and even earn profits, then you may well be interested in World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.
How Fast Is World Wrestling Entertainment Growing Its Earnings Per Share?
In a capitalist society capital chases profits, and that means share prices tend rise with earnings per share (EPS). So like a ray of sunshine through a gap in the clouds, improving EPS is considered a good sign. You can imagine, then, that it almost knocked my socks off when I realized that World Wrestling Entertainment grew its EPS from US$0.63 to US$2.42, in one short year. Even though that growth rate is unlikely to be repeated, that looks like a breakout improvement. Could this be a sign that the business has reached an inflection point?
I like to see top-line growth as an indication that growth is sustainable, and I look for a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin to point to a competitive moat (though some companies with low margins also have moats). The good news is that World Wrestling Entertainment is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 18.3 percentage points to 26%, over the last year. That's great to see, on both counts.
The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.
You don't drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for World Wrestling Entertainment's future profits.
Are World Wrestling Entertainment Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Many consider high insider ownership to be a strong sign of alignment between the leaders of a company and the ordinary shareholders. So we're pleased to report that World Wrestling Entertainment insiders own a meaningful share of the business. In fact, they own 41% of the shares, making insiders a very influential shareholder group. I'm reassured by this kind of alignment, as it suggests the business will be run for the benefit of shareholders. At the current share price, that insider holding is worth a whopping US$1.8b. That means they have plenty of their own capital riding on the performance of the business!
It's good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? A brief analysis of the CEO compensation suggests they are. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like World Wrestling Entertainment with market caps between US$2.0b and US$6.4b is about US$5.0m.
The World Wrestling Entertainment CEO received US$3.5m in compensation for the year ending . That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. While the level of CEO compensation isn't a huge factor in my view of the company, modest remuneration is a positive, because it suggests that the board keeps shareholder interests in mind. It can also be a sign of a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.
Does World Wrestling Entertainment Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?
World Wrestling Entertainment's earnings have taken off like any random crypto-currency did, back in 2017. The sweetener is that insiders have a mountain of stock, and the CEO remuneration is quite reasonable. The strong EPS improvement suggests the businesses is humming along. Big growth can make big winners, so I do think World Wrestling Entertainment is worth considering carefully. Don't forget that there may still be risks. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for World Wrestling Entertainment that you should be aware of.
Although World Wrestling Entertainment certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you're looking for.
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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