(Bloomberg) -- World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. rallied in late trading after second-quarter profit topped estimates, with lower operating costs helping make up for a decline in revenue from live events and merchandise sales.
Second-quarter earnings amounted to 45 cents a share, handily beating the 15-cent estimate of analysts. Operating income more than tripled to $55.7 million. Revenue, meanwhile, came in at $223.4 million -- short of the $230.2 million projected by Wall Street.See more details.
WWE has been eliminating jobs and cutting costs as it copes with the virus-spurred shutdown of live events. The second-quarter performance “demonstrated our ability to respond to the challenges posed by Covid-19,” Chief Executive Officer Vince McMahon said in a statement.As it waits out a return of spectator sports, the company has been trying to add more subscribers to its WWE Network service. The platform ended the quarter with 1.69 million paid subscribers, up 6%. The company launched a free version of the service at the beginning of last month, aiming to attract more customers.E-commerce revenue almost doubled to $12.6 million, which helped offset the lack of merchandise sales at live events.WWE, which previously withdrew its 2020 guidance, also said it may resume stock buybacks under a $500 million repurchase program.
WWE jumped as much as 7.4% to $48.80 during after-hours trading in New York. The stock had been down 30% in 2020 through Thursday’s close, with Covid-19 dealing a fresh blow to a company that already went through a management shake-up earlier this year. The S&P 500 Index, in comparison, is up less than 1%.
Read the statement.See earnings preview.
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