World Wrestling Jumps Most in 16 Years on Subscriber Gains

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World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. soared more than 24 percent, the most ever, after second-quarter results beat analysts’ estimates.

WWE rose 17 percent to $19.36 at 4 p.m. in New York after reaching $20.50 intraday to mark the biggest gain since the company first sold stock to the public in October 1999.

Profit growth was driven primarily by the expansion of WWE Network subscribers, chief strategy and financial officer George Barrios said in a statement. The number of total subscribers in the second quarter reached more than 1.2 million, up 75 percent from a year earlier.

“The ramp-up of WWE Network subscribers, while exhibiting a seasonal pattern, continued to show strong year-over-year growth,” Barrios said. “Our success in developing the WWE network, maximizing our television rights fees and driving revenue growth from out global markets reinforces our long-term potential.”

Second-quarter net income totaled $5.1 million, or 7 cents a share, the Stamford, Connecticut-based entertainment company said Thursday, beating estimates of a 1-cent loss. That compared with a loss of $14.5 million, or 19 cents, a year earlier. Revenue of $150.2 million topped analysts’ projections of $147.8 million.

By the end of 2015, the company plans to add approximately 180 hours of original content to the network’s featured programming. The company expects paid subscribers to increase as much as 5 percent in the third quarter.

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