Invest in Pro Wrestling?

Zacks rates WWE a "strong buy."


Zacks makes the case for investing in World Wrestling Entertainment (ticker symbol WWE). "The company isn't just about a wrestling show on television anymore. It is a completely integrated entertainment company," writes analyst Tracey Ryniec. The company's divisions include live and televised entertainment, consumer products, digital media, and WWE films (direct-to-DVD movies, not theatrical releases).

WWE's strategy, writes Ryniec, involves branding its SuperStars, then leveraging that brand to "boost television ratings, wrestle up more buyers for pay-per-view shows, increase ticket sales at live events, and spark Internet traffic." WWE is also pushing into Latin America and Asia, and it recently boosted its dividend by 50 percent (currently, the stock is yielding 7.7 percent).

Last week, Utendahl Capital Partners initiated coverage of the stock with an "overweight" rating and a $21 target price (the stock is trading at $18). "We believe WWE is one of those rare finds in the media and entertainment sector, offering an attractive dividend and solid growth," writes analyst Alden Mahabir. Digital media will be a major driver of the company's future growth, Mahabir writes, "considering its compelling content aimed at the male demographic."

Earlier this month, CNBC's Jim Cramer hosted the company's CEO, Linda McMahon, on his show. The stock has long been ignored by Wall Street "snobs," Cramer says.