Dis­ney re­ports earn­ings miss

Irish Independent - Business Week - - NEWS -

WALT Dis­ney, an in­vestor favourite for con­sis­tently beat­ing Wall Street earn­ings tar­gets, re­ported a rare miss this week as ad­ver­tis­ing and sub­scrip­tions de­clined at sports chan­nel ESPN and theme park rev­enue came in weaker than ex­pected.

The home of Mickey Mouse got a boost from an­i­mated film ‘Zootopia’ but it an­nounced an exit from the con­sole video game busi­ness as it dropped the In­fin­ity ti­tle it launched less than three years ago.

Shares of the world’s best-known en­ter­tain­ment com­pany fell more than 5pc in ex­tended trad­ing.

Dis­ney and other me­dia com­pa­nies have been hit by the trend of “cord-cut­ting” as younger view­ers opt for stream­ing ser­vices over ca­ble and satel­lite TV chan­nels. In­vestors are par­tic­u­larly fo­cused on how ESPN, one of the strong­est ca­ble brands, weath­ers the storm.

“Ca­ble net­works con­tinue to face mean­ing­ful head­winds and Dis­ney has yet to re­ally an­swer how they are go­ing to re­store growth,” BTIG an­a­lyst Richard Green­field said.

Ex­clud­ing some items, Dis­ney earned $1.36 per share, miss­ing an­a­lyst av­er­age ex­pec­ta­tion of $1.40 (€1.22) per share. Rev­enue rose to $12.97bn (€11.38bn) from $12.46bn, be­low the Wall Street tar­get of $13.19bn, ac­cord­ing to Thom­son Reuters I/B/E/S.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Bob Iger told an­a­lysts he does not “cur­rently have any plans” to stay at Dis­ney be­yond his contract’s ex­pi­ra­tion in June 2018. The com­pany’s board is still search­ing for Iger’s suc­ces­sor.

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