Disney stock gets a boost as Disney+ subscriptions hit nearly 130 million

CEO Bob Chapek expressed optimism for further streaming growth

The Walt Disney Co. saw its stock rise in after-hours trading Wednesday after the company posted its first quarter results for fiscal year 2022, showing the global entertainment titan surpassed analysts' expectations by reaching just under 130 million subscribers to its Disney+ streaming service.

Disney+

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 02/03/2020, Disney+ startscreen on mobile phone. Disney+ online video, content streaming subscription service. Disney plus, Star wars, Marvel, Pixar, National Geographic. (iStock / iStock)

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DIS THE WALT DISNEY CO. 109.33 +3.71 +3.51%

Wall Street had expected the subscriber total to reach around 124 million, but Disney+ subscribers hit 129.8 million internationally as of January 1. The company also saw a 76% year-over-year increase in ESPN+ streaming subscribers to 21.3 million, and a 15% rise in Hulu watchers to 45.3 million.

"We’ve had a very strong start to the fiscal year, with a significant rise in earnings per share, record revenue and operating income at our domestic parks and resorts, the launch of a new franchise with Encanto, and a significant increase in total subscriptions across our streaming portfolio to 196.4 million, including 11.8 million Disney+ subscribers added in the first quarter," CEO Bob Chapek said in a statement.

Disney Encanto

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 23: An "Encanto" step-and-repeat at the opening night fan event for Disney's "Encanto" at El Capitan Theatre on November 23, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.  (Michael Tullberg/Getty Images / Getty Images)

SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM IS ASKING FOR PICTURES FROM DISNEY VACATIONS

During the earnings call following the report, Chapek expressed optimism about the continued growth in Disney+ subscribers. The CEO noted that while the Disney brand has a strong appeal to families, roughly half their current customers do not have children, and said that adding broader content to the streaming service will likely be a trend for the firm moving forward.

Disney

Rededication Moment and debut of "Disney Enchantment" during "The World's Most Magical Celebration" Walt Disney World Resort 50th Anniversary at Magic Kingdom on September 30, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. (Gerardo Mora/Getty Images / Getty Images)

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Disney also surpassed Wall Street expectations of $20.27 in revenue for fiscal Q1, reporting $21.82 billion, which was up from $16.25 from the same quarter last year.