WWE stock slammed despite record-breaking WrestleMania 31 event

Stocks in WWE were down 14% the morning after 31st annual WrestleMania

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The Independent Online

Investors in World Wrestling Entertainment were dealt a blow this week after stocks fell 14% at the end of the 31st annual WrestleMania blowout.

Shares rallied a little in after-hours trading after falling to $14.15 at close on Monday. The poor market performance follows a boom in subscribers to 1.3 million, up 31 per cent from the end of January, when the company passed one million subscribers for the first time, according to reports.

Westlemania 31 was the highest grossing and most viewed event in the company's history, bringing in £8.5 million ($12.6 million) in gross revenue.

A subscription to WWE costs £6.67 ($9.99) a month. WWE hooked around 200,000 subscribers with a free trial in February, 77 per cent of those then converted to paying subscribers in March.

It seems investors may think this is a high point for the company, especially after George Barrios, WWE’s chief executive, warned that the WWE's growth could include ‘sequential quarterly declines’.

Reliance on free trials may also hit the the subscriber base in the longer term as fans learn they can terminate their subscription and reopen it again for events at no further cost.

WWE launched monthly fees for digital subscribers before other big networks in the US like CBS and HBO, however this ate into into the company’s pay-per-view business for big events. Last year WWE reported a net loss of £20 million ($30 million), prompted stock to plummet.

WWE stock also took a hit the morning after the 30th WrestleMania in 2014, when it dropped more than 19 per cent.