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 sales were down at the Disney Vacation Club.
The studio had mixed results with revenues down 8% to $1.46B and operating income up 13% to $117M. Home entertainment sales were down and Cars 2 was no match for last year’s Toy Story 3 — but last year’s results included a $100M writedown from the closing of Robert Zemeckis’ film studio in Northern California.
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