(Reuters) -World Wrestling Entertainment Inc on Wednesday reported a drop in first-quarter revenue and operating income due to a delay in a key event but maintained its full-year earnings forecast.
The sports entertainment company said it continues to target “record revenue” and adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) of $395 million to $410 million this year, sending its share up about 2%.
Revenue at WWE, which is in the process of merging with Endeavor Group-owned Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) franchise, declined 11% to $297.6 million in the quarter ended March 31.
The company said revenue fell mainly due to the shifting of a large-scale international event, which occurred in the first quarter of 2022, but this year is expected to occur in the second quarter.
Operating income slumped 43% to $53.1 million dragged by the decrease in revenue. Net income dropped to $36.7 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, from $66.1 million, or $0.77 per diluted share.
Last month, WWE and Endeavor Group signed a deal to combine the wrestling company and mixed martial arts franchise UFC to form a new publicly listed entertainment giant valued at about $21 billion.
As part of the deal, which is expected to close in the second half of this year, Endeavor will own a 51% stake in the resultant company, while WWE investors will own the rest.
(Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; editing by Eileen Soreng)