Dis­ney re­sults jump on strong movie slate

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - BUSINESS - By Mae An­der­son

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.

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