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The value of WWE stock ended 2015 in a much better place than when the year started.
At the beginning of 2015, WWE was going through the growing pains of WWE Network. Quarterly financial losses and slower-than-expected growth weighed on investors.
WWE closed 2014 in the mid-$12s, then dropped as low as $9.82 per share in January 2015.
The first signs of Network success appeared in February when WWE reported a jump in Network subscriptions for the Royal Rumble. The stock climbed as high as $17.55 per share in February, nearly doubling January’s low-point.
The stock was steady in March, then tumbled again in April, falling as low as $13.01 per share when WWE did not meet investor expectations.
After a dull May period as part of the post-WrestleMania lull season, investors re-engaged with WWE in June.
The stock was as low as $13.64 in June, but peaked at $17.80 per share, and closed at $16.50 at the mid-way point of the year.
WWE had a strong July, climbing as high as $20.50 per share on improved Network numbers. WWE ended July at $19.57 per share, the highest monthly close since March 2014.
August was even better, hitting the yearly peak of $23.63 per share. It was the highest point since April 2014.
The stock closed at $20.06 in August, again the highest monthly close since March 2014 when there was optimism about the Network.
The optimism evaporated in the second-half of 2014 when WWE experimented with different pricing models to attract and retain subscribers, which drove down the stock in late 2014.
WWE had a similar decline in Fall 2015. However, it was not as pronounced as late 2014.
WWE fell to a monthly close of $16.90 in September. Compare that to $13.77 at the close of September 2014.
October showed improvement, peaking at $21.33 per share and closing the month at $17.83 per share, which looks a lot better than $12.35 to close October 2014.
In November, WWE fell to $16.13 per share when WWE’s third quarter financial report fell below investor expectations. The stock closed at $16.99 per share, which still looks a lot better than $11.51 to close November 2014.
In the final month of the year, the stock peaked at $19.26 per share, but closed the year at $17.84 per share. Still, much better than $12.34 per share to close 2014.
Overall, WWE’s 2015 performance looks much better than 2014 because of how poorly the stock was viewed last year when WWE’s initial Network launch did not meet investor expectations, coupled with quarterly losses.
WWE achieving the Network break-even point in 2015 gave WWE a foundation to build from as they try to transform their business to TV & Network-centric, moving away from the TV & PPV model.
WWE will have to meet investor expectations in 2016 to generate the same type of upward growth, though. The Network will be key to meeting that goal.
WWE Stock Comparison
- 2015 Avg. Monthly Stock Price: $16.33
- 2014 Avg. Monthly Stock Price: $16.30
Interestingly, despite WWE’s overall stock value improving greatly by the end of 2015, the average stock price was only up by three cents. WWE started 2014 so strongly trading in the $22-32 range before dropping off a cliff to $11.40 in June 2014 when they reported less-than-ideal financial performance during the Network ramp-up.
The average of 2014’s big highs and big lows ended up matching 2015’s steadier performance during Year 2 of the Network.