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Disney Tops Fiscal Q4 Earnings Estimates With Strong Theme Park Results

By | Thursday November 7, 2013 @ 1:21pm PST

The basic numbers look fine but investors may find reasons to be concerned by Disney‘s unusually complicated report for a quarter that included a writedown for The Lone Ranger and an accounting adjustment that reduced ESPN revenues. The company reported net income of $1.54B, +11.0% vs the period last year, on revenue of $11.57B, +7.3%. The top line beat the Street’s forecast for $11.4B. Earnings at 77 cents a share were a penny ahead of expectations. The company’s cable networks reported a 1% increase in revenues to $3.57B with operating income -7% to $1.28B. But that includes a $172M reduction in deferred ESPN affiliate fee revenues. Take that out, and operating income would have been up $77M, the company says. At ABC broadcasting revenues were +2% to $1.37B with operating income -18% to $158M. The problems included higher costs for primetime programming as the company replaced news and reality fare with scripted shows. In addition it had tough comparisons with last year when ABC syndicated Castle and Wipeout and broadcast the Emmy Awards. Disney’s theme parks had cheerier news with revenues +8% to $$3.72B and operating income +15% to $571M. Consumer spending was up at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, but costs were up with the introduction of the MyMagic+ technology which helps guests avoid long lines. At the studio, revenues were +7% to $1.51B with operating income +35% to $108M helped by Monsters University — … Read More »

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Disney Fiscal Q3 Revenues Miss Analyst Forecasts As Studio Results Slip

By | Tuesday August 6, 2013 @ 1:20pm PDT

The report isn’t terrible; shares are fairly flat in after-market trading. Still, Disney’s results will raise questions about growth prospects for film and ABC. The company reported net income of $1.85B for fiscal Q3, nearly flat with last year, on revenues of $11.58B, +4.4%. The top line fell short of analyst expectations for $11.64B. Earnings at $1.03 a share were ahead of the $1.01 analysts expected. The Studio Entertainment unit stands out with operating income falling 36% to $201M on $1.59B in revenues, -2%. Disney says that it had to shoulder pre-release marketing expenses for The Lone Ranger, and despite the success of Marvel’s Iron Man 3, it didn’t do as well as last year’s The Avengers. Results were stronger in the main Media Networks operation, with operating income +8% to $2.3B on revenues of $5.35B, +5%. All of the growth was from cable, where operating income was +12% to $2.09B on revenues of $3.88B, +8%. ESPN did its part with higher affiliate fees, and higher ad sales as the network raised prices and added inventory. The ABC broadcasting business saw income fall 21% to $213M with revenues flat at $1.47B. Disney says that programming costs were up as ABC shifted hours to acquired programming instead of self-produced shows. Ad sales fell as ratings declined. Parks and Resorts more than held their own with a 9% increase in operating income to $689M on revenues of $3.68B, +7%. Attendance and prices … Read More »

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Disney Fiscal Q2 Earnings Top Estimates As Stock Hits New High

By | Tuesday May 7, 2013 @ 1:21pm PDT

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, … Read More »

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Disney Shares Hit After It Warns Of Potential Problems In Upcoming Earnings

By | Friday November 9, 2012 @ 1:14pm PST

Disney shares fell nearly 6% today, to $47.06, as investors responded to the company’s warning that it likely will report uninspiring earnings for the last three months of 2012. CFO Jay Rasulo says the company will be hit by “few timing and comparability issues” in the quarter — although when it comes to the entire year ”overall, we feel great.” Some analysts remain wary. Janney Capital Markets’ Tony Wible downgraded the company to “neutral” noting that the stock is already expensive — it appreciated 40% over the last 12 months. What’s more, the issues that Rasulo cited coincide with a relatively weak ad market and stock dilution from Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm. “We see greater potential for modeling errors over the coming quarters,” Wible says. Barclays Equity Research’s Anthony DiClemente also wonders whether a few of the company’s issues “may be ‘trending’” problems, not just timing ones. But RBC Capital Markets’ David Bank is more optimistic saying that while the next quarter may look dreary “we don’t think the trends will persist much beyond that period.”

Related: Disney Matches Fiscal Q4 Earnings Estimates But Falls Shy On Revenues Read More »

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Disney Beats Fiscal Q3 Earnings Forecasts But With Light Revenues

By | Tuesday August 7, 2012 @ 1:26pm PDT

The basic numbers look pretty good — Disney says earnings hit a record high –with Parks and Resorts the star operation in the quarter that ended in June. The company reported net income of $2.0B, +22.4% vs the period last year, on revenues of $11.1B, +3.9%. Analysts expected a little more on the top line, about $11.3B. But earnings at $1.02 a share handily beat predictions of 93 cents. The television units held their own: Cable Networks revenues of $3.6B were +3% while the operating income, at $1.9B, was +1%. The company says that its kids channels had to offset a rare drop in operating income at ESPN due to higher programming costs — mostly for NBA and Major League Baseball — and deferred recognition of some affiliate fees. ABC generated $1.5B in revenue, +3%, and $268M in operating income, +7%. The income boost is partly due to lower costs which offset a modest decline in ad sales. At the theme parks, revenues were +9% to $3.4B while operating income soared 21% to $630M. The unit had easy comparisons with last year which was hurt by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The company says, though, that guest spending is up after the company raised ticket prices. Disney’s studio had a more nuanced story to tell with revenues flat at $1.6B, but operating income up $264M to $313M. It did well with The Avengers and Brave, as … Read More »

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UPDATE: Disney Sells Out Oscar Ads, And Moves To 28-Day Delay For Rental DVDs

By | Tuesday February 7, 2012 @ 3:25pm PST

UPDATE, 3:35 PM: CEO Bob Iger seemed more relaxed and feistier than usual in today’s earnings call with analysts. He called the ad market “healthy” — with all spots sold out for the upcoming Academy Awards broadcast. He wouldn’t comment on reports about ABC’s talks to create a news channel with Univision, although he says that Disney has “an interest in seeing that ABC News has an opportunity to flourish.” But he also acknowledged that he’s scratching his head over some recent industry initiatives. Iger says that he’s ”still not sure I understand” what Verizon and Redbox have planned for their just-announced streaming service. He added that Disney is ”in discussions” to change its DVD and Blu-ray release policy to wait 28 days before selling discs directly to discount rental services such as Redbox and Netflix. Up to now Disney didn’t think that a delay would have much impact on disc sales, but he says that “the industry has continued to suffer on the sell-through side.” Yet Iger sounded frustrated by another initiative to promote disc sales: giving  disc buyers the additional opportunity to stream movies to mobile devices. Disney has its own program, called Key Chest. Iger says, though, that ”we haven’t rolled out Key Chest as much as we hoped.” Meanwhile he’s “taking and wait-and-see” on joining other studios that support the UltraViolet streaming program. Iger says he’s “not sure it has proven to be as robust as we expected, or as consumer friendly as we had hoped.” Read More »

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Disney Beats Fiscal 4Q Estimates With Strong Results At ESPN And Theme Parks

By | Thursday November 10, 2011 @ 10:58pm PST

The company reported net income of $1.1B, up 30% vs the period last year, on revenues of $10.43B, up 7%. That comfortably beat Street forecasts for revenues of $10.36B. Earnings, at 58 cents a share, also topped predictions of 54 cents — and without one-time charges would have hit 59 cents. Disney’s cable channels led the charge with revenues up 9% to $4.8B and a 20% hike in operating profits to $1.46B. The company says that ESPN and the overseas channels led the way with higher affiliate fees and international ad growth — although the sports channel was hurt by rising costs for programming and marketing and a ratings drop from the loss of the FIFA World Cup. The networks figures include the ABC broadcast operation, where revenues were up 4% to $1.33B with a 37% increase in operating income to $201M. Although it didn’t have political ads, the unit benefitted from higher ad rates — partly due to an uptick in ratings for news and sports — and lower programming costs. The company says that scatter prices are 25% ahead of the upfront market.

At the theme parks, attendance was up 1% but spending was up 9% due to price increases. That led to a revenue increase of 11% to $3.13B with operating income rising 33% to $421M. The company says that consumer spending was up — especially new guest offerings at Disney California Adventure and at the Disney Cruise Line, although … Read More »

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Iger: Disney Monitoring Recession Indicators But Sees No Consumer Impact Yet

UPDATE, 3:10 PM: CEO Bob Iger told analysts that Disney hasn’t seen much change in consumer spending plans as a result of the stock market gyrations and recession talk over the last few days. He adds that he doesn’t think that price discounting at the theme parks is “something we’ll have to do quickly.” In the conference call analysts mostly wanted to know Iger’s thinking about when and how he’ll offer Disney movies and TV shows to online streaming services such as Netflix. He says that “we’re in discussions with Netflix and a number of other entities and it’s likely we’ll make more deals” soon. Online services will land ”little, if any” TV shows the same season they initially air. Iger wants to “protect and respect” current cable and satellite pay TV providers. Indeed, even though Iger wants to sell Hulu — which Disney co-owns with News Corp and Comcast’s NBC Universal — it’s unclear whether he’ll help the cause by guaranteeing that a buyer fresh Disney programming on an exclusive basis for several years. Speaking generally about online Iger says that “I don’t think we’ll make long term deals for the content. The world is changing” too quickly. “It’s exciting, but we’re still at the beginning of the beginning.”

PREVIOUS, 1:23 PM: The bad news is that Cars 2 and Thor, both released in the quarter that ended in June, were no match for last year’s Toy Story Read More »

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