The entertainment conglomerate posted adjusted per share earnings of $1.84, topping consensus per-share analyst estimates of $1.70 for the March quarter. Second-quarter revenues reached $14.55 billion — above forecasts of $14.11 billion.
“Our ability to create extraordinary content like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War and leverage it across all business units, the unique value proposition we’re creating for consumers with our Direct-To-Consumer platforms, and our recent reorganization strengthen our confidence that we are very well positioned for future growth,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.
Studio Entertainment revenues of $2.5 billion for the quarter were up 21% from a year earlier. Operating income rose to $847 million, an increase of 29% from a year earlier.
The film studio’s results were fueled by the Marvel blockbuster Black Panther, which surpassed James Cameron’s 1997 epic film Titanic as the third highest-grossing film of all time in the U.S. Avengers: Infinity War is on track to an even stronger performance at the box office.
Parks and resorts reported revenues of $4.9 billion for the quarter, a gain of 14% from a year ago. Operating income increased 27% to $ billion.
The Media Networks group, which includes Disney’s broadcast and cable networks, reported revenue of $6.1 billion for the quarter, up 3% from a year ago. Operating income declined 6% to $2.1 billion, primarily due to a loss at BAMTech and decreases at Freeform and ESPN.
The Consumer Products & Interactive Media reported revenues of $1.1 billion, up 2% from a year ago. Operating income fell 4% to $354 million, as the higher licensing fees collected from licensing were more than offset by comparable retail store sales.
Disney’s planned $52.4 billion acquisition of many parts of 21st Century Fox serves as a backdrop for today’s investor call.
The blockbuster deal would give Disney an impressive arsenal of entertainment assets, including the Fox film and television studios, its regional sports networks, cable channels National Geographic and FX. The combination also would expand Disney’s international presence through Asian pay-TV operator Star India and its stake in Sky.
On Monday, reports surfaced of Comcast preparing to make an unsolicited, all-cash bid for Fox. The cable giant is meeting with bankers and awaiting a verdict in the Justice Department’s challenge of the proposed AT&T-Time Warner merger.