WWE employees reportedly barred from company stock transactions
WWE employees are not currently allowed to trade company stock.
A new report from Wrestlenomics notes that shortly after Vince McMahon’s WWE retirement announcement last Friday afternoon, all WWE employees were instructed that they may not buy or sell company shares until further notice. PWInsider has confirmed as well, noting that no employees are currently allowed to purchase or sell WWE stock.
The message was addressed to all staff, and indicated that it was written by WWE’s Senior Vice President & Assistant General Counsel James Langham.
“Please be advised that, in light of recent developments, the Company’s trading window has closed effective immediately for all employees,” Langham wrote. “Until further notice you are prohibited from any purchases or sales of Company securities. You are also instructed not to speak with others about this note.”
WWE employees often receive stock units as part of their compensation.
The report points to how the Insider Trading Policy published on the WWE Corporate website notes that “Designated Persons” (executive officers, Board of Directors members, employees with the titles of Executive Vice President and above) are prohibited from trading company shares during the time between the last day of any calendar quarter (June 30 for example) and two trading days after the following earnings release date.
WWE noted in a recent SEC filing that they are targeting Tuesday, August 9 for their next quarterly earnings report, but they said, “there is no assurance that [the company] will be able to meet this deadline.”
It was noted by Wrestlenomics that their anticipated earnings report date was Tuesday, August 4, so WWE’s targeted date is a few days later than the anticipated date. The delay and the uncertainty about when WWE will report Q3 earnings is related to how they are needing to reissue financial reports for previous years, due to Vince’s NDA payments that were recently revealed. WWE recently announced that the payments should have been recorded as company expenses, and that Vince is personally paying the company back.
WWE’s published Insider Trading Policy also says any employees who are not in possession of material non-public information may also be subject to “Blackout” Periods, which prohibit them from making stock moves. The policy also says employees “shall not disclose the existence of the ‘Blackout’ to any other person.” This stipulation is not unique to WWE.
There’s no word yet on why WWE employees are barred from making stock moves, or whether there’s rationale that all employees could be considered to currently be in possession of material non-public information, whatever that may be.
Langham’s message was sent last Friday to all staff, but multiple sources are not aware, as of this afternoon (Thursday), of any update to the message. It appears the “Blackout” Period is still in effect for all employees as of today (Thursday).