WWE reports third quarter 2022 financial results

WWE sent out the following press release…

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2022.

“We generated strong financial results in the quarter, highlighted by record revenue and Adjusted OIBDA for a third quarter, and remain firmly on track to deliver record revenue and Adjusted OIBDA for the full year,” said Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan, WWE co-Chief Executive Officers. “We continue to effectively execute our strategy, including staging a record-setting international stadium event, Clash at the Castle, in early September. Clash at the Castle, as well as our other premium live events (“PLEs”) including SummerSlam and Extreme Rules all continue our streak of delivering record viewership for each respective event. These PLEs, along with strong ratings for our flagship programs, Raw and SmackDown, continue to expand the reach of our brands and enhance the value of our content across various platforms, both domestically and abroad.”

Frank Riddick, WWE President & Chief Financial Officer, added “In the quarter, we exceeded our guidance. Adjusted OIBDA increased 17% reflecting 19% revenue growth over the prior year. Our financial performance was primarily driven by growth in our Media segment as well as a shift in the timing of revenue related to certain licensing agreements. These items more than offset an increase in certain costs to support the creation of content. For 2022, we now anticipate Adjusted OIBDA at the upper-end of the range of $370 to $385 million.”

Third Quarter 2022 Highlights

* Revenue was $304.6 million, an increase of 19%; Operating Income was $58.9 million, a decrease of 8%; and Adjusted OIBDA1 was $91.2 million, an increase of 17%
* Returned $9.1 million of capital to shareholders through dividends paid
* Clash at the Castle, the first major WWE stadium event in the UK in over 30 years, was held at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Clash at the Castle was the most viewed international event in WWE’s history
* Each WWE domestic premium live event (Money in the Bank, SummerSlam and Extreme Rules) was the most viewed event in its history with year-over-year increases of 17%, 20% and 36%, respectively, in domestic unique viewership on Peacock
* WWE announced a multi-year agreement with its long-standing partner, the Foxtel Group, to expand the distribution of the Company’s content in Australia
* WWE announced the creation of NXT Europe, which is planned to launch in 2023, to expand the NXT brand internationally
* In October, WWE announced its “Campus Rush” recruitment tour to further enhance the Company’s talent development program

2022 Business Outlook

In February, the Company issued Adjusted OIBDA guidance of $360 – $375 million for the full year 2022. In August, the Company raised its guidance to $370 – $385 million. Based on performance through the first nine months of the year as well management’s current expectations for the fourth quarter, the Company now expects full year 2022 Adjusted OIBDA to be at the upper-end of the range of $370 – $385 million.