Friday, November 8, 2013

Disney Reports 12 Percent 3Q Profit

Disney revealed Thursday that it will release the next movie in the “Star Wars’’ franchise to theaters on Dec. 18, 2015, according to The NYPost.

Disney bought “Star Wars” producer Lucasfilm for more than $4 billion last year and with an eye toward releasing three more films. “Star Wars: Episode VII” will start filming in spring 2014 and will be directed by J.J. Abrams.

“This, obviously, is one of the most important movies we have in the next few years, and we’ve chosen a date we believe will allow the creative team the time to make a great film,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in an earnings call with analysts.

Disney’s third-quarter profit rose by 12 percent to $1.4 billion. Earnings per share were 77 cents, beating analysts estimates of 76 cents. Revenue rose 7 percent, to $11.56 billion, versus expectations for $11.4 billion.

Broadcasting was the dark spot in an otherwise rosy quarter for the Mouse House.

The ABC network and TV stations were plagued by higher costs for scripted programs such as “Scandal,” compared with cheaper reality shows last year. Operating income plunged 18 percent, to $158 million in the latest quarter.

The cable network division, home to ESPN and Disney Channel, also had a negative quarter, posting a 7 percent drop in operating income, to $1.3 billion.

Disney said the issue was a reduction in the recognition of previously deferred ESPN affiliate-fee revenues; otherwise, operating income would have risen by $77 million instead of falling by $95 million.

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