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September 8, 2022

WWE rises as Wolfe Research upgrades, citing increased importance of Paul 'Triple H' Levesque

WWE shares rose on Thursday as investment firm Wolfe Research upgraded the sports entertainment company, citing the increased role of Paul "Triple H" Levesque to the company's creative direction.

Analyst Peter Supino raised the firm's rating on WWE to outperform from peer perform, noting that Vince McMahon's "sudden departure" resulted in a "cloud of uncertainty," touching corporate and creative leadership and whether he would sell the company. Now, the stock does not reflect any acquisition premium, the C-suite seems "aligned" and with Levesque as the company's newly named chief content officer, WWE's creative direction "is in the hands of the best person to turn around ratings & morale," Supino wrote.

WWE shares rose 2% to $67.85 in premarket trading.

In addition, the analyst noted there is a "tangible organic growth opportunity" as WWE's TV rights deal expires in 2025. "Relative to WWE's last distribution rights renewals, we see greater demand from native streamers for sports, and more bidders," the analyst explained.

There is also the possibility that WWE is acquired, with next year seen as the most likely time frame for a deal, Supino added.

Earlier this month, WWE raised the pay for Levesque and its new C-suite leadership in the wake of former chief Vince McMahon's exit.

Analysts have been mixed on WWE. It had an average rating of HOLD from Seeking Alpha authors, while Wall Street analysts rate it a BUY. Conversely, Seeking Alpha's quant system, which consistently beats the market, rates WWE a HOLD.

source: seeking alpha


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