World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.'s (WWE) stock fell 2.2% after market close Thursday after the company's fourth-quarter results came in below analysts' top- and bottom-line estimates. Net income was $38.8 million, or 45 cents a share, down from $60.9 million, or 73 cents a share in the prior year's quarter, which the company attributed to a decrease in operating performance. On an adjusted basis, WWE earned 52 cents a share, down from 67 cents a share in the prior year's quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were looking for earnings of 58 cents a share. Revenue was $325.3 million, up from $310.3 million in the prior year's quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were looking for revenue of $334 million. WWE's operating income was $62.7 million, a decrease of 22% from the same period last year. The company said the increase in revenue was offset by an increase in operating expenses, primarily driven by higher costs to support the creation of content. "In 2023, we're focused on continuing to execute on our key operational initiatives, such as the domestic licensing of our flagship programs, Raw and SmackDown, as well as the international licensing of our content in key markets," said WWE CEO Nick Khan, in a statement. "At the same time, we're focused on the review of strategic alternatives that we announced earlier this year, with the goal of maximizing value for all shareholders." WWE is targeting Adjusted OIBDA of $395 million to $410 million for the full year 2023, which it says would be an all-time record for the company. WWE also expects to generate record revenue in 2023.
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