Shares of the Walt Disney Co. fell 2% late Tuesday after the media giant reported fiscal second-quarter per-share results above expectations but revenue came in a tad below forecasts. Disney said it earned $2.39 billion, or $1.50 a share, in the quarter, compared with $2.14 billion, or $1.30 a share, in the prior-year quarter. Excluding one-time items, Disney earned $1.50 a share, compared with $1.36 a share a year ago. Revenue rose to $13.34 billion, from $12.97 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the media giant to report adjusted earnings of $1.41 a share on sales of $13.41 billion. Disney's cable networks revenue for the quarter increased 3% to $4.1 billion and operating income decreased 3% to $1.8 billion, due to a decrease at ESPN, the company said in a statement. That decrease was due to higher programming costs, thanks to a shift in timing of College Football Playoff bowl games relative to Disney's fiscal quarter end and contractual rate increases for NBA programming. Disney's studio revenue was off 1%. Theatrical distribution results were comparable to the prior-year quarter, the company said. "The current quarter benefited from lower pre-release marketing costs and the strong performance of "Beauty and the Beast," but such benefits were offset by the performance of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "Zootopia" in the prior-year quarter compared to "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" and "Moana" in the current quarter. Disney shares ended the regular trading day up 0.6%.
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