The flip side is that Disney wasn’t hurt in the September quarter by a $190 million writedown, the way it was last year when it had to account for The Lone Ranger. But the latest results, while good, probably won’t move the needle much for the company – its shares are down 1.2% in initial post-market trading. Disney reported net income of $1.5 billion, +7.5% vs. the period last year, on revenues of $12.39 billion, +7.1%. The top line was a hair better than the $12.37 billion that analysts expected. Adjusted earnings at 89 cents per share were a penny ahead of the consensus forecast.
The numbers cap what CEO Bob Iger calls a record performance for the fiscal year. “We’re obviously very pleased with this achievement and believe it reflects the extraordinary quality of our content and unique ability to leverage success across the company to create significant value, as well as our focus on embracing and adapting to emerging consumer trends and technology,” he says.
Disney’s cable networks, which include ESPN, saw revenues increase 6% to $3.78 billion while operating income fell 1% to $1.27 billion. The company attributes a profit drop to the sports network’s higher programming costs for Major League Baseball, the NFL, college football, and the World Cup.
The broadcast operation, with ABC, generated $1.44 billion in revenue, +5%, with operating income +3% to $163 million. Advertising fell, Disney says, “due to fewer units sold” at ABC. That offset increases from program sales for Shark Tank, America’s Funniest Home Videos, My Wife And Kids — and a drop in costs following the cancellation of Katie.
At Parks and Resorts sales increased by 7% to $3.96 billion with operating income +20% to $687 million. Guests at the domestic parks spent more and attendance was up. But the company also had higher costs for its MyMagic+ program. The overseas parks didn’t fare as well as attendance dropped in costs rose at Disneyland Paris while the company shouldered preopening expenses for Shanghai Disney Resort and the effects of the weakening Yen on Tokyo Disney Resort.
The Studio Entertainment numbers stood out due to the absence of last year’s bomb and the success of Guardians Of The Galaxy and Maleficent. Revenues rose 18% to $1.78 billion with operating income up 135.2% to $254 million.
Disney’s Interactive unit was mixed with revenues down 9% to $362 million with operating income up 13% to $18 million. It had success with a mobile game, Tsum Tsum, but was hurt by the timing of the release of Disney Infinity 2.0 at the very end of the quarter vs. last year when the earlier version came out in August.