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Disney Posts Mixed 3Q Results, Shares Ease

Water Tower at The Walt Disney Co HQ

 (Reuters)

Walt Disney (DIS) beat the Street late Tuesday with a 24% leap in fiscal third-quarter net income, but like many other large multinationals, the media giant’s revenue growth failed to meet Wall Street’s hopes.

Shares of the blue-chip parent of ESPN and Disney World dipped less than 1% in after-hours action.

Disney said it earned $1.83 billion, or $1.01 a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $1.48 billion, or 77 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had been calling for EPS of just 93 cents.

Revenue rose 4% to $11.09 billion, but that trailed the Street’s view of $11.3 billion.

“We had a phenomenal third quarter, delivering the largest quarterly earnings in the history of our company,” CEO Robert Iger said in a statement. “We believe our results clearly demonstrate Disney’s unique value proposition and great potential to deliver long-term growth.”

Disney reported a 3% increase in media networks revenue to $5.1 billion thanks to growth at its domestic Disney Channels and ABC Family.

However, Disney noted a decrease in revenue at its financial juggernaut ESPN, which was hit by lower affiliate fees due to deferred affiliate fee recognition. The sports network accounts for roughly 45% of Disney’s value.

Meanwhile, the media giant logged a 9% jump in parks and resorts revenues to $3.4 billion, contributing to a 21% leap in operating income to $630 million. The company cited a rise in revenue from Tokyo Disney Resort, domestic parks and resorts and Disney Cruise Line.

Revenue was mostly flat at Disney’s studio entertainment division at $1.63 billion, while consumer products enjoyed an 8% increase in revenue to $742 million.

Shares of Burbank, Calif.-based Disney slipped 0.4% to $49.60 in extended trading late Tuesday. The bar had been raised in recent months as the company’s shares have soared about 32% year-to-date.

Follow Matt Egan on Twitter @MattMEgan5