Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Disney Reports Mixed Results, Broadcast Surges

Wall Street Journal graphic
The Walt Disney Company reported fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue that missed analysts' expectations on Tuesday.

According to CNBC, here's how the company did compared with what Wall Street expected:
  • Earnings: $1.87 per share vs. $1.95 per share forecast by Thomson Reuters
  • Revenue: $15.23 billion vs. $15.34 billion forecast by Thomson Reuters
  • In the year-ago quarter, Disney reported adjusted earnings of $1.58 per share on revenue of $14.24 billion.
Despite the top and bottom line miss, the entertainment giant saw strong growth in its studio, parks and broadcast units.

Disney said its studio revenue grew 20 percent year over year to $2.88 billion, driven by the strong box office performances of Marvel's "Avengers: Infinity War" and Pixar's "Incredibles 2."

While the parks business posted a 6 percent year-over-year increase in revenue, the segment saw operating income surge 15 percent year-over-year to $1.34 billion. Disney said the the surge in operating income was driven by higher guest spending amid higher average ticket prices and room rates as well as increases in food, beverage and merchandise spending.

Disney's broadcasting business saw a stunning 43 percent year-over-year growth in operating income to $361 million amid higher program sales, affiliate revenue growth and network advertising revenue. The company said higher sales of "Designated Survivor, "How to Get Away with Murder" and "Grey's Anatomy" helped drive that increase.

In April, Disney launched ESPN Plus, a sports-focused streaming service. While the service is still in its early days, CEO Bob Iger said in a Tuesday earnings call that the service is already seeing "strong" conversion rates from free trials to paid subscriptions. The longtime CEO said that the subscription growth is exceeding the company's expectations, but did not provide specific numbers for that metric.

Disney's third-quarter earnings come as the entertainment giant is in the process of acquiring major parts of Twenty-First Century Fox.

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