By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – Disney on Tuesday reported fiscal first-quarter results that topped analysts’ expectations, led by a strong showing at the box office and better-than-expected performance of streaming service Disney+.
Shares rose 0.5% postmarket.
Walt Disney (NYSE:) announced of $1.53 on revenue of $20.86 billion. Analysts polled by Investing.com anticipated EPS of $1.46 on revenue of $20.81 billion.
That compares to EPS of $1.84 on revenue of $15.3 billion in the same period a year before. Walt Disney had reported EPS of $1.07 on revenue of $19.1 billion in the previous quarter.
The results were supported by growth in TV/SVOD distribution results, thanks to better-than-expected performance from Disney+, which was launched in the U.S. on Nov. 12.
Disney+ added 26.5 million subscribers in the fiscal first quarter, well above the 20.8 million expected.
“We had a strong first quarter, highlighted by the launch of Disney+, which has exceeded even our greatest expectations,” said CEO Robert A. Iger.
Its parks, experiences and products business increased revenue 8% to $7.4 billion, and operating income was up 9% to $2.3 billion, weighed down by lower results at its international parks and resorts.
Looking to impact of the coronavirus, Disney said if its Chinese parks are closed two months it will take a charge of $175 million.
Studio entertainment revenues for the quarter more than doubled to $3.8 billion and segment operating income increased 200% to $948 million, led by strong box office performances, the company said.
“The increase in theatrical distribution results was due to the performance of ‘Frozen II’ and ‘Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker’ in the current quarter compared to ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ in the prior-year quarter,” Disney said.
Its cable networks saw revenues increase 20% to $4.8 billion and operating income rose 16% to $862 billion, but growth was kept in check by a decline in income from ESPN due to an increase in programming and production costs and lower advertising revenue, the company added.
Looking ahead, analysts are expecting Disney to generate earnings per share of $1.40 and revenue of $19.55 billion in the upcoming quarter.
“Disney produced quite impressive quarterly numbers,” Investing.com analyst Haris Anwar said. “It’s not only succeeding in attracting more subscribers to its Disney+ app, but also keeping momentum from its legacy businesses strong,”
Walt Disney (NYSE:) shares are flat from the beginning of the year, still down 5.65% from its 52-week high of $153.41 set on Nov. 26, 2019. They are underperforming the , which is up 1.65% year to date.
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