Disney Logs Slight 4Q Beat as Profits Climb 12%

By EarningsFOXBusiness

Media giant Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) narrowly topped forecasts on Thursday with a 12% jump in fiscal fourth-quarter profits thanks to stronger revenue at its studios and resorts.

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Despite the slight beat and better-than-expected revenue, shares of the parent of ABC and ESPN ticked slightly lower in extended trading.

The company said it earned $1.39 billion, or 77 cents per share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $1.24 billion, or 68 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had called for EPS of 76 cents.

Revenue increased 7% to $11.57 billion, topping the Street’s view of $11.4 billion.

“It was another great year for the company, both creatively and financially, and we remain confident that we are well positioned to continue our strong performance and drive long-term shareholder value,” Disney CEO Robert Iger said in a statement.

Disney’s growth was driven by an 8% jump in parks and resorts revenue to $3.72 billion amid stronger vacation club ownership sales and higher royalty revenue from its Tokyo resort.

Studio entertainment revenue rose 7% to $1.52 billion as box-office sales helped offset lower home entertainment sales. Consumer products revenue jumped 14% to $1.0 billion as merchandise licensing and publishing revenue rose.

However, Disney reported slow growth at its media-networks division, which posted a 1% bump in sales to $4.95 billion. Operating income declined 8% to $1.4 billion.

Disney cited a $95 million decline in cable networks operating income due to previously deferred ESPN affiliate fee revenue tied to annual programming commitments.

Excluding that impact, operating income would have been up $77 million due to higher affiliate fee contractual rate increases at ESPN and domestic Disney Channels.

Shares of Burbank, Calif.-based Disney slipped 1.19% to $66.35 in extended trading Thursday evening. Disney has rallied almost 35% on the year, compared with 22.5% for the S&P 500.

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