Why World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Stock Is Plummeting Today (Update)

Update (3:08 p.m.): Updated with current market price information.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- World Wrestling Entertainment  (WWE) plummeted Friday after investors reacted negatively to the company's announced television deal with NBCUniversal and its outlook for the remainder of 2014.

WWE announced Thursday it had once again signed a deal with NBCU, a unit of Comcast  (CMCSA). The company's flagship show, Monday Night Raw, will continue to air on the USA Network, while its secondary show, Friday Night Smackdown, will continue to air on SyFy.

WWE also released revenue and earnings guidance that disappointed investors. The company is in the midst of transitioning from a traditional pay-per-view model to one based on its own over-the-top streaming service, the WWE Network. The company said it would need 1.3 million to 1.4 million subscribers for the network to compensate for pay-per-view and on-demand declines. It has set a goal of 1 million subscribers for the end of the year, but this would still lead to a net loss of $45 million to $52 million.

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The stock was down 42.65% to $11.43 at 3:07 p.m.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates WORLD WRESTLING ENTMT INC as a "hold" with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate WORLD WRESTLING ENTMT INC (WWE) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • WWE's revenue growth trails the industry average of 14.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • WWE's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.12 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, WWE has a quick ratio of 1.51, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The gross profit margin for WORLD WRESTLING ENTMT INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 28.50%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -6.36% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$9.40 million or 59.40% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: WWE Ratings Report

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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