Vince McMahon, the CEO and Chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE), has stepped down until the investigation into his alleged misconduct is completed, StreetInsider.com reported, citing the company.
The announcement comes after reports of McMahon agreeing to pay $3 million to John Laurinaitis, an ex-employee, in January. Laurinaitis, who led Talent Relations at WWE, allegedly had an affair with McMahon.
During the course of the investigation, Stephanie McMahon, Vince’s daughter, will serve as Interim Chairwoman and Interim CEO of the entertainment company, and Vince will fulfill his creative content responsibilities.
Wall Street’s Take
Last week, Guggenheim analyst Currey Baker maintained a Buy rating on the stock and raised the price target to $82 from $75 (31.3% upside potential).
In a research note to investors, Baker said that the company has been “tightly managing costs” and that there has been “no slowdown in consumer demand for live events or consumer products.”
Overall, the stock has a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on two Buys and five Holds. WWE’s average price target of $68.29 implies 9.4% upside potential from current levels. Shares have gained 31.2% over the past six months.
TipRanks’ Stock Investors tool shows that investors currently have a Very Positive stance on WWE, with 9.1% of investors on TipRanks increasing their exposure to the stock over the past 30 days.
The news was not taken positively by the investors and WWE stock lost 3.6% on Friday to close at $62.51. Investors should wait and watch how the investigation unfolds and whether Vince will return as the Connecticut-based company’s CEO.