WWE held a conference call with investors this morning to discuss their disappointing quarter four and overall earnings for 2011. WWE CFO George Barrios and Vince McMahon handled the call. Unfortunately I had to miss the call due to a family emergency (everything is OK) but I spoke to someone on the call and have highlights:
- Vince McMahon blamed the disappointing earnings on WWE Studios and television licensing. He said the TV licensing had to do with the company's decision to hold back the distribution of WWE NXT and WWE Superstars in the United States. McMahon made it clear they plan on moving forward with WWE Studios under a new direction and if it doesn't work, it will be gone. He re-assured investors he felt like it would work.
- McMahon put over the fact they are developing WWE Legend's House and mentioned the success they had with Tough Enough and with their new YouTube programming.
- As has been the trend over the past several months, Vince was very vague when discussing the WWE Network. He said there are still plans to launch this year although a specific date is not available.
- McMahon said they will be giving WWE Studios a chance to establish itself under new leadership with the new approach before they pull the plug.
- Vince reassured an investor he doesn't see any change coming to the company's dividend (which, as a stockholder, I'm glad to hear).
You can review WWE's full earnings report at this link.