Shares closed at a record $66.07, but are fluctuating up and down after hours following the release of a generally upbeat report for the first three months of 2013. Disney reported net income attributable to shareholders of $1.51B, +32% vs the period last year, on revenues of $10.55B, +10%. The top line beat expectations for $10.48B. And not including one-time costs, earnings of 79 cents a share exceeded forecasts for 76 cents. At the core cable networks business, revenues were up 9% to $3.46B with operating income of $1.72B, +15%. ESPN helped with higher affiliate fees and advertising outweighing the rising programming costs. The ABC broadcasting unit wasn’t as fortunate: Revenues fell 2% to $1.50B and operating income was down 40% to $138M as programming costs rose and ad sales fell, mostly due to the network’s lower ratings. At Parks and Resorts revenues were +14% to $3.3B, with operating income +73% to $383M. Higher ticket prices didn’t deter consumers from increasing their spending at Disney’s parks and cruise ships. The film studio had no trouble beating last year’s quarter which included the writedown for John Carter: Revenues were up 13% to $1.34B with operating income of $118M vs an $84M loss last year. Consumer products revenues rose 12% to $763M with operating income +35% to $200M helped by sales of licensed merchandise tied to Disney Channel, Mickey and Minnie, and Marvel properties. And at the interactive business, revenues were +8% to $194M with an operating loss of $54M — an improvement from last year’s $70M loss — with gains in the Japan mobile business. “Our results reflect our successful strategy, the strength of our brands and the value of our high-quality creative content, all of which continue to drive long-term growth and shareholder value,” CEO Bob Iger says.
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