4 Reasons To Be Concerned With WWE Following Wrestlemania 32
In each of the last two years, being long into the post-WrestleMania announcement of the WWE Network subscriber number has resulted in some short-term pain as the stock traded off on each of those announcements.
Macquarie's James Clement has four reasons to be concerned ahead of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE)'s WrestleMania 32 on Sunday.
Four of the six Superstars in the event's three biggest matches are not full-time wrestlers: Shane McMahon, The Undertaker, Triple H and Brock Lesnar.
"We bring this up because some fans may have less of a vested interest because the storylines supporting these three matches may well die once the match is over," Clement wrote in a note on Tuesday.
The Sunday event falls right between Saturday's NCAA Final Four games and Monday night's NCAA National Championship game. MLB's Opening Day also directly competes with Mania.
"[T]here may well be a limit to the number of hours WWE's target demographic is able to spend in front of the TV screen without irritating their parents, spouses or significant others," Clement wrote.
WWE Network launched in the UK in January 2015, adding an undisclosed but nonetheless meaningful number of international subscribers last year.
"We believe the UK is probably WWE's biggest international market and the launch of the Network in the UK in 1Q:15 may make this year's WrestleMania "comp" a little more challenging from a subscriber build perspective," the analyst added.
Clement said, "We were never given a subscriber number at January's Royal Rumble. If this figure was favorable, we have a feeling it would have been disclosed."
Clement maintained his Neutral rating ($18 price target) on WWE, suggesting there could be some downside risk with the WrestleMania subscriber number.
Latest Ratings for WWE
|Oct 2016||Wells Fargo||Downgrades||Outperform||Market Perform|
|Oct 2016||KeyBanc||Downgrades||Overweight||Sector Weight|
|Oct 2016||Deutsche Bank||Downgrades||Hold||Sell|
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