WWF slips on doll sales

Grappling co. announces stock buyback of up to $10 million shares

Shares in World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, which produces TV shows including UPN’s “Smackdown!,” fell as much as 29% on Thursday after the company revised revenue estimates downward over falling sales for wrestling action figures.

The Stamford, Conn.-based company said its revenue revision will have a “modest impact” on earnings for its fiscal second quarter ending Oct. 31. A spokesman said revenue for the company’s fiscal year, ending in April, will be off 3% from previous estimates, excluding revenue from its fledgling XFL football league.

The WWFE reported $379.3 million in fiscal 2000.

“We were not expecting this,” analyst Peter Swan of Pacific Growth Equities said.

WWFE shares were down $3.75, or 19%, at $16 in midday trading more than four times the normal volume.

Also on Thursday, the WWFE announced a stock buyback program of up to $10 million in common shares. Such moves are normally taken when a company believes that its stock is undervalued.

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