WWE CEO Linda McMahon’s visit to Mad Money Tuesday was notably tamer than the professional wrestling spectaculars for which her company’s known. Instead of schooling Cramer on the finer points of pile drivers and body slams, she explained why her firm’s a true intercontinental champion.
Business overseas is “one of our big growth areas,” McMahon said. That’s no surprise considering WWE has offices in Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney, with one coming in Sao Paulo, Brazil. WWE also has brought its special brand of in-your-face entertainment to Latin American and there’s another live-event tour planned for Western Europe this summer. No wonder international growth was up 25% last quarter.
But that doesn’t mean growth in the U.S. has stopped. The average attendance for live events here in the States is still growing, McMahon said, and there’s room to grow in the pay-per-view space.
WWE knows how to deliver for its fans, and the company hasn’t forgotten its investors, either. In fact, it recently boosted its dividend by 50% – but only for public shareholders, and not for the McMahon family, which owns 70% of the company’s stock.
One problem the company does seem to have is getting Wall Street to notice it. McMahon admitted she has to do a better job of trumpeting the WWE story. Between the live events, home video sales, pay per view and more, “this is a really great core media business, and I don’t think that’s looked at very often,” she said. “We have to get our story out there.”
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