Disney results jump on strong movie slate
NEW YORK >> Walt Disney Co.’s earnings for the latest quarter sailed passed expectations, boosted by a strong slate of movies such as “Incredibles 2” as the company moves toward closing its $71.3 billion deal to buy 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets.
Disney and other media companies are facing a shifting landscape as more TV watchers switch to streaming rather than traditional cable bundles.
But Disney’s diversified entertainment portfolio, which runs from films and cable channels to theme parks, helped buoy its results. Studio entertainment revenue, which includes theater box office and streaming, jumped 50 percent to $2.15 billion on the strength of films such as “Avengers: Infinity War” and the latest “Ant-Man” movie.
Net income for the quarter ended Sept. 29 rose 33 percent to $2.32 billion, or $1.55 per share, from $1.75 billion, or $1.14 per share last year. Excluding one-time items, net income totaled $1.48 per share. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.31 per share.
The Burbank, California-based company’s revenue rose 12 percent to $14.31 billion from $12.78 billion last year. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $13.81 billion.
A reduced tax rate also boosted results by $1.2 billion.
Disney is building its streaming service offerings. It launched $5-a-month ESPN Plus streaming service with sports in April. And a Disney-branded streaming service is expected to launch later next year.