Disney Posts Earnings Rise on Success at Box Office

Walt Disney Co posted earnings that increased by 4.6% during the most recent quarter. The results were helped by hits at the box office and its mid-June opening of its new theme park Shanghai Disney.

In a separate transaction, Disney announced that it was acquiring a 33% stake in video streaming and technology services company BAMTech that was formed by Major League Baseball. BAMTech, as part of this deal, was separated from the broader digital business of MLB known as MLB Advanced Media.

Under the transaction’s terms, Disney will pay a sum of $1 billion in two payments, one now and one during January of 2017. Disney also will hold an option to take a majority stake in the upcoming years.

BAMTech already has close to 7.5 million paid subscribers.

For its third quarter that ended on July 2, Disney posted a jump of 40% in its film division revenue to over $2.84 billion. It was benefited from the strong performances of Finding Dory the sequel by Pixar Animation Studios, Captain America: Civil War by Marvel Studios, the Jungle Book live-action version and Zootopia the animated comedy starring animals.

All the movies helped offset weaker than expected results from Alice Through the Looking Glass, a flop that had a large budget.

While Disney is enjoying a string of successes at the box office, analysts were remaining focused on the cable television division of Disney. Last year, Disney announced some losses in subscribers at its sports channel ESPN, which set off concerns about the sports powerhouse’s future in the ongoing era of skinny bundles and cord cutting.

Revenue in the media networks for Disney increased by 2.4% to end the quarter at just over $5.91 billion. For the cable network segment, which includes its ESPN channel, revenue was up 1.4% ending the quarter at just over $4.2 billion.

Disney’s investment into BAMTech is to help it step up its growth of the company’s video platform, while BAMTech is also to be one of its key partners in its efforts of over the top for ESPN and its ABC Television Group.

Disney parks and its resorts segment posted growth in revenue of more than 6% ending the quarter at $4.38 billion. During the three-month period, Disney opened its newest resort, to huge lines in the city of Shanghai.

For its third quarter, Disney posted a $2.6 billion profit equal to $1.59 per share, compared to last year during the same period of $2.48 billion equal to $1.45 per share.

Revenue was up by 9% ending the quarter at $14.27 billion. Analysts were expecting revenue of over $14.15 billion with per share earnings of $1.61.

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