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WWE on the mat as profits take a beating

Lower pay-per-view and advertising rates drove decline

HOLLYWOOD — Wall Street body-slammed World Wrestling Entertainment stock Tuesday after it reported sharply lower revenue and profits for last quarter.

Decidedly lower pay-per-view and advertising rates drove the fall, as the sports-entertainment company saw PPV decline 33% to $18.5 million and advertising revenue fall 46% to $9.8 million.

A $4.9 million decline in advertising was due to a change in WWE’s distribution deal with UPN for “Smackdown!” that also increased its rights fees revenue by $3.4 million, for a net drop-off of $1.5 million.

Only bright spot for company was its live-event revenue, which grew 14% to $20.1 million.

Overall, WWE revenue for the quarter ending Oct. 29 was $83.9 million, down 11% from a year ago, while net income was $3 million, an 82% drop from the same quarter last year.

Company’s now expecting total revenue for the year ending next April to be between $345 million and $355 million, with earnings per diluted share of 46¢ to 50¢ .

WWE also said it would double its quarterly dividend, but that did little to settle frightened investors. Its share closed down 10% at $12.04.

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