Disney Soars to 1Q Beat as Theme Parks, Movies Impress

By EarningsFOXBusiness

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) revealed better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and sales late Wednesday as its theme parks rebounded and movie studios benefited from wintertime box-office blockbusters.

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The Burbank, Calif.-based media conglomerate reported net income of $1.84 billion, or $1.03 a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $1.38 billion, or 77 cents.

Excluding one-time items, Disney said it earned $1.04 a share, topping average analyst estimates of 92 cents in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Revenue for the three months ended Dec. 28 was $12.31 billion, up from $11.34 billion a year ago, just beating the Street’s view of $12.25 billion.

The gains were led by its studio entertainment unit, where sales grew 23% year-over-year to $1.89 billion, thanks to the success of Thor: The Dark World and Frozen. Its theme parks saw revenue increase 6% to $3.6 billion.

"These results reflect the strength of our unprecedented portfolio of brands, a constant focus on creativity and innovation, and the continued success of our long-term strategy,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.

Its media networks group saw revenues climb by 4% to $5.29 billion, triggered by improvements at ESPN and A&E. The gains were partially offset by a slight decrease in its broadcasting unit due to higher programming costs and lower sales and advertising revenue.

Shares of Disney were up 1.5% to $72.85 in after-hours trade.

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