WWE stock plunged more than 20% ($6.29 per share) in early trading Monday, after the wrestling giant released subscriber figures for its over-the-top service that were short of expectations.
WWE stock has been on an unprecedented run in the past few months, rising nearly 35% as investors were optimistic that its online over-the-top WWE Network would attract a healthy portion of its rabid fans. WWE released the figures this morning – it has more than 667,000 subscribers to the channel and expects to reach the 1 million mark by the end of the year. That was short of the 1 million plus that analysts and investors were expecting, sending the stock into a tailspin that was aided by an overall downturn in the market.
WWE shares hit a low of $21.73 on April 7, down 22% ($6.29 per share). The stock rallied later in the day to close at $23.90, down 14.7%, or $4.12 each.
The fall-off comes during an overall slide in the market – the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 165 points Monday. Most other stocks in the cable sector were down – Charter Communications dropped 3% ($3.78 each) to $118.94, followed by Time Warner Cable, down 2.1% ($2.93 each) to $136.24 per share and Comcast, down 2.2% ($1.10 each) to $49.08 per share. On the satellite side, Dish Network fell 4.4% ($2.73 each) to $59.51 per share.
Programmers also felt the pain – AMC Networks dropped 4.5% ($3.35 each) to $70.64; Starz shed 3.2% ($1.06 ) to $32.03 and Discovery Communications fell 2.8% ($2.35 each) to $80.69 per share.