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.
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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.
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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.
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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.