WWE is trumpeting their fourth quarter 2015 financial reports this morning, and a glance at their record highs in revenue and WWE Network subscriber count tells you why.
Some deeper digger into the numbers raises questions, and we'll have more on those when we begin to see Wall Street's reaction to the report and the investment community gets a chance to hear Vince McMahon and George Barrios speak on it during their conference call later this morning.
It does seem that the focus on revenue is partly because profits aren't as impressive. And the number of paid subscribers to the over-the-top Network actually took a slight dip from the third quarter.
Here's the summary of the report, with quotes from Chairman and CEO McMahon and Chief Strategy & Financial Officer Barrios. You can read the full report on the WWE Corporate site here.
WWE® Reports Strong Fourth-Quarter 2015 Results Achieving Record Revenue for the Full Year
Fourth-Quarter 2015 Highlights
Full Year 2015 Highlights
- Revenue increased 18% to $166.2 million driving a $6.0 million increase in Adjusted OIBDA1 to $11.1 million
- WWE Network had 1.22 million ending paid subscribers, representing a 49% increase from the fourth quarter 2014; - WWE Network hit an all-time high of 1.24 million average paid subscribers for the quarter
- WWE Network was recognized as the fifth largest direct-to-consumer ("OTT") subscription service in the U.S. according to Parks Associates, ranking alongside Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu and MLB.TV
- WWE was added to the S&P SmallCap 600 Index (effective January 20, 2016)
(1) Reconciliation of Operating Income to Adjusted OIBDA can be found in the Supplemental Information in this release.
- Revenue increased 21% to $658.8 million, the highest in the Company's history, including record levels of revenue from WWE's Network, Television, Live event, Venue Merchandise, and WWE Shop businesses
- Total international revenue increased by 46% to a record $169.8 million
- Adjusted OIBDA1 reached $68.7 million, representing an $80.3 million increase from 2014
- Network segment generated revenue of $159.4 million and OIBDA1 of $48.4 million that nearly doubled the average annual revenue of the Company's pay-per-view business before network launch
- WWE Network subscribers watched an estimated total of 256 million hours of content, representing an average of 188 hours per household placing it among the top cable and broadcast networks
- WWE content garnered more than 8 billion views on YouTube; WWE was the most followed sports channel on YouTube and the second most followed sports brand on Facebook
- WWE generated 790 million social media fan engagements in 20152; Sprinklr's Social Business Index ranked WWE as the 6th most social brand worldwide, alongside Disney, Time Warner and Google
(2) Social media fan engagements are defined as the cumulative fan response to WWE content measured by the number of "likes", "follows", "shares", "mentions", and "retweets" across social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Tumblr.
STAMFORD, Conn. -- WWE (NYSE:WWE) today announced financial results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2015. For the quarter, the Company reported a Net loss of $1.2 million, or $0.02 loss per share, as compared to a Net loss of $1.6 million, or $0.02 loss per share, in the prior year quarter. Excluding items affecting comparability, Adjusted OIBDA increased to $11.1 million from $5.1 million. Adjusted net income was $3.4 million, or $0.04 per share as compared to Adjusted net loss of $0.6 million, or $0.01 loss per share, in the fourth quarter last year.
"Our record revenue in 2015 reflected innovation across all of our businesses, which was highlighted by the successful execution of our network strategy," said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. "Over the next year, we will continue to focus on producing engaging content across all platforms, investing in emerging markets, and deploying technology across the enterprise to drive our long-term growth."
George Barrios, Chief Strategy & Financial Officer, added, "Our strong performance in 2015 reflected the effective execution of our strategy and our investments in content, technology and global markets. As an example, these initiatives led to WWE Network subscribers watching an estimated average of 188 hours of content per household, and WWE garnering more than 8 billion views on YouTube and achieving record international revenues of $170 million. These metrics demonstrate the unique power of our brands and our potential to capitalize on a multi-platform content strategy to drive long-term growth."