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WWE Q1 2016 financials: Company touts strong results, does a lot of explaining of when WrestleMania happened

It's WWE financial reporting day, so I hope everyone wore their favorite Geogre Barrios merch and has some clever chants about operating income ready for the conference call...

As you get ready for that, here's the company's press release on the numbers:

WWE® Reports Strong First-Quarter 2016 Results

First Quarter 2016 Highlights

* Revenue increased 13% on a pro-forma basis to $171.1 from $151.3 million in the prior year quarter, excluding the timing impact of WrestleMania (which occurred in Q2 2016 vs. Q1 2015)

* OIBDA increased 31% to $27.6 million from the prior year quarter (29% on a pro-forma basis)

* WWE Network averaged 1.29 million paid subscribers over the first quarter 2016, which represented a 39% increase from the first quarter 2015, and reached 1.47 million total subscribers at quarter-end

* WWE's YouTube channel reached 11 million subscribers and achieved Diamond Play Button status joining Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber; WWE content garnered 10 billion YouTube views over the last 12 months

* Announced new series spin-off, Total Bellas, to debut on E! in Fall 2016 along with the sixth season of Total Divas. Continued to develop exciting new content for WWE Network, including Camp WWE (May), Swerved Season 2 (June) and Holy Foley! (August)

Selected WrestleMania Highlights

* WrestleMania (April 3, 2016) achieved record breaking attendance, ticket sales, viewership, and social media activity

* WrestleMania broke WWE's attendance record, attracting 101,763 fans at AT&T Stadium

* WWE Network reached a record 1.82 million total subscribers following WrestleMania (as of April 4)

* During WrestleMania Week, WWE Network featured 19 hours of prime-time, premier programming and subscribers watched nearly 22 million hours of content, averaging 12 hours per subscriber

* WrestleMania generated more than 2.5 million mentions on Twitter in one day and over 250 million video views across WWE digital and social platforms during WrestleMania Week

STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WWE (NYSE:WWE) today announced financial results for its first quarter 2016. For the quarter, the Company reported Net income of $13.9 million, or $0.18 per share, as compared to Net income of $9.8 million, or $0.13 per share, in the prior year quarter.

"Our strong performance in the first quarter reflected the successful execution of our content strategy," said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. "The sustained year-over-year growth of WWE Network, the global consumption of our video content across all platforms, and the recent record breaking attraction of WrestleMania demonstrate the increasing strength of our brands. We believe we can continue to leverage these strengths to drive long-term growth."

George Barrios, Chief Strategy & Financial Officer, added "Our earnings growth was driven primarily by the increased monetization of our network and television content as well as higher licensing revenue from our franchise video game. 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."

Q2 2016 Business Outlook

For the second quarter 2016, the Company projects average paid subscribers of approximately 1.5 million. The Company also estimates second quarter 2016 Adjusted OIBDA of approximately $5 million to $9 million.1,2 This range represents an expected year-over-year decrease attributed to three primary factors: incremental strategic investments, the timing impact of WrestleMania production costs, and the timing of a lower effective royalty rate associated with the Company's franchise video game. (The lower video game royalty rate derives from an increasing rate structure over the 2015 year as compared to a flat rate structure in 2016. For the full year, the Company expects the rate for 2016 will be comparable to the average effective rate for 2015).

Click here for the full announcement on WWE Corporate.

It's telling, at least to this non-numbers guy's eyes, that WWE goes through so many gyrations to explain how WrestleMania occurred in the second quarter of 2016 (as opposed to the first quarter of 2015) when comparing year-to-year figures... yet goes ahead and talks about WrestleMania 32's numbers in the press release.

Regardless, the total revenue number is about in line with expectations, while earnings per share for stockholders came in above many forecasts.

Beyond that, the company addressed declining ratings as a function of overall declines for both USA Network and cable television in general, while emphasizing their success on YouTube and other shareable online content distributors.

Network subscribers were up for the quarter, and the company attributes revenue increases to that customer base continuing to grow above their break-even point for that venture, but the big Network news was already revealed after WrestleMania.

The investor conference call is set for 11AM Eastern; stay tuned for news from the Vince & George show!

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