WWE to file quarterly report late citing new unrecorded payments of $5M by McMahon

Today World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE) said in an SEC filing that its quarterly report for the period ending June 30, 2022, will be filed late, noting additional previously unrecorded payments made by its former CEO Vince McMahon amid the company's investigation of allegations of misconduct.  

In the filing, the company said that since it had previously determined payments of $14.6M made by McMahon (between 2006 and 2022) were not appropriately recorded, its learned of two additional, improperly recorded payments totaling $5M (also made by McMahon), bringing the total to $19.6M in unrecorded expenses.   The company also said it will revise previous financial statements for multiple years.

On June 17, 2022, World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE) CEO Vince McMahon stepped away from his duties as the company's board investigated allegations of misconduct.  According to The Wall Street Journal, McMahon, World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.’s longtime leader, agreed to pay more than $12 million over the past 16 years to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity.  On July 22, 2020, McMahon "retired" amid ongoing probes into the alleged misconduct.   

Almost two years earlier, on January 31, 2020, Forbes reported that WWE had fired its co-presidents, including George Barrios.

About eight years earlier, on March 17, 2014, and again on April 8, 2014, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson authored and published analysis that WWE was substantially overvalued and should be shorted. Lemelson's analysis was credited by USA Today, The Street, Seeking Alpha, and other major media outlets with an $800 million drop in the market capitalization of the stock between March 18 and April 20, 2014. 

On May 16, 2014, following a $1.4 billion (63 percent) loss in WWE's market capitalization since Lemelson's initial March 17, 2014, short call, Lemelson announced that he had reversed his short position and was now long WWE stock. Simultaneously, Lemelson called for the replacement of WWE's executive management team or a sale of the company.  This followed what Lemelson said was "a period of ongoing losses, execution failures, and material misstatements."

On July 25, 2022, CNBC reported that The company expects to conclude that its “internal control over financial reporting was not effective as a result of one or more material weaknesses.”

Read more history on Lemelson Capital management here

Disclosure: Lemelson Capital Management is short shares of WWE for its clients


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