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AP News

WWE weighed down by charges in 1Q

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — WWE reported a dramatic drop in its first-quarter profit as charges related to a movie it made and other costs outweighed stronger attendance at wrestling events.

The company, formerly known as World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., produces wrestling events like WrestleMania and television shows such as Raw and SmackDown.

WWE said Thursday that it earned $3 million, or 4 cents per share, for the quarter that ended March 31. That is down from $15.3 million, or 20 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Adjusting for charges tied to its movie "Dead Man Down" and gains from a new video game licensee, it made 5 cents per share in the recent period.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected 8 cents per share.

Revenues increased to $124 million from $123.1 million as growth in North America was offset by declines across international markets.

CEO Vince McMahon said pay-per-view buys and live event attendance improved during the quarter. The company sees those as leading indicators of its performance.

Shares of the Stamford, Conn.-based company rose 12 cents to $9.12 in afternoon trading.

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