World Wrestling Entertainment's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

August 01, 2012 09:00 pm ET


Michael Weitz - SVP, Investor Relations

Vince McMahon - Chairman & CEO

George Barrios - CFO


Rick Ingrassia - Roth Capital

Chris Ferris - Noble Financial

Brad Safalow - PAA Research

Robert Ralph - Savings Partners

Jamie Clement - Sidoti & Company



Welcome to the WWE 2012 second quarter earnings call. My name is John and I will be your operator for today’s call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question-and-answer session. I will now turn the call over to Michael Weitz, SVP of Investor Relations for WWE.

Michael Weitz

Thank you and good morning everyone. Joining me for today’s discussion are Vince McMahon, our Chairman and CEO; and George Barrios, our CFO. We issued our earnings release earlier this morning and as is our usual practice have posted the release, our earnings presentation and other supporting materials on our website, These materials can be referenced in conjunction with the discussion today to clarify our performance and to shed light on the trends in the business.

In our discussion today, we will make several forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management estimates. Actual results may differ due to numerous factors, as described in our presentation and in our filings with the SEC. For any non-GAAP financial measures discussed on this call, reconciliations to GAAP measures can be found in our earnings release and in our website presentation.

Today we’ll review our financial results for the second quarter and we’ll follow this review with a Q&A session. At this time, it’s my privilege to turn the call over to Vince.

Vince McMahon

Good morning everyone. I guess it should be noted pretty much in the quarter, we are essentially flat, which is nothing to write on the wall, about 24 million. Results are reflecting pretty much of a profit growth which George will talk about for the most businesses. We have had a strong Pay-Per-View performance which is about a 17% increase which is actually pretty good.

We have had somewhat reduced losses from our movie business and again we are bullish on that and I guess George will reflect some of that as well. We had some decrease in licensing profits because of the absence of a video game which was being produced called All Stars. Somewhat increase in SG&A expense is main staffing.

So it is sort of a reset of a management incentive compensation. I guess may be the key metrics are encouraging, they are a little mixed, but encouraging. Pay-Per-View as I said up 17% which a substantial social media is exploding for us.

Live events remained pretty much flat as well as television ratings, not withstanding a third hour of Raw which just debuted with excellent television ratings and we just did the 1001 Monday television show which is obviously if you know speaks to the staying power of the brand. No television show like it primetime has ever come anywhere near 1001 episodes.

And the third hour is going to give us more all the more exposure in some of the new audience's world to continue to build on the interactive strength of Monday Night Raw. Likewise in October we are going to be producing a one hour television show on ION, it is called Main Event. And we think that that television show will give us an audience that we currently do not have I believe on Wednesday in prime time 8 or 9 o' clock.

We continue as well to distribute and create content for YouTube which is very popular and also gives an opportunity to take some of the television segments on YouTube and perhaps make larger shows out of them. As far as films are concerned we had deals with IM Global, any number of them as we spread out our risk as well as our reward on some of our films in terms of the new philosophy that we have.

We've remastered No Holds Barred which was produced in 1989 and almost forgotten. It's been on the shelf and in terms of the remastering, we have done it really extremely well. We are releasing that and over the last four weeks, we have done (inaudible) very well.

Brand strength. Television strength of Raw is extremely strong, it has been for year after year. As far as Syfy is concerned where Smackdown is on, we are number one, have been since the very first broadcast on Syfy. We've continued, as I mentioned, the explosive growth on social media which we think we've effectively changed not so much the way we do business, but can change the overall impact of our business extraordinarily.

In one year’s time we should be much, much better positioned than we are now on a global front. And I would say, we didn’t make an investment on something called Tout which I will let George explain here in further detail.

International growth, we held live events in Russia which were sold out. In Brazil, which was okay debut, and so one of the things that obviously needs to be talked is the launch of our network. You guys have been very patient in terms of what is it and when is it, and right now you have heard this story for a long time. We're not ready to make an announcement. I feel relatively confident however that next quarter we’ll be making one.

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