MUMBAI: The Walt Disney Co (Disney) reported strong second-quarter earnings beating analyst estimates. Revenue of the media giant reached to $14.92 billion, a 3 per cent increase year-on-year. At the same time, earnings per share (EPS) decreased to $1.61, 13 per cent down y-o-y, ex-items affecting comparability.
Wall Street’s conscious estimate was $14.36 billion in revenue and $1.58 EPS for Disney’s second quarter. Within hours of reporting the Q2 earnings, Disney’s stock rose more than 2 per cent.
As the high valued deal with 21st Century Fox closed in March, this earnings report does not fully reflect the integrated company. However, it booked $373 million in revenue and $25 million in operating income from 11 days' ownership of 21st Century Fox, which became part of Disney on 20 March.
The company’s direct-to-consumer & international revenues for the quarter reached $955 million, 15 per cent up y-o-y. But the segment’s operating loss increased from $188 million to $393 million due to its ongoing investment in ESPN+ as well as for the cost associated with the upcoming Disney+ launch.
Media Networks revenues for the quarter was comparable to the prior year quarter at $5.5 bn and segment operating income decreased 3% to $2.2 bn. The company’s cable network revenue for the quarter increased two per cent to $3.7 bn and operating income increased two per cent to $1.8 bn thanks to higher affiliate revenue of ESPN. While its broadcasting revenues for the quarter decreased 2 per cent to $1.8 billion and operating income decreased 29 per cent to$247 mn, lower advertising revenue was one of the major reasons.
Studio Entertainment revenues were down 15 per cent in this quarter standing at 42.1 bn segment and operating income decreased 39 per cent to $534 mn. “The decrease in theatrical distribution results was due to the success of Black Panther and the continued performance of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the prior-year quarter compared to Captain Marvel and no comparable Star Wars title in the current quarter,” Disney said in earnings release.
Disney is confident about its direct-to-consumer war with deep-pocket tech giants, especially on the back of the integration with 21st Century Fox. “We’re very pleased with our Q2 results and thrilled with the record-breaking success of Avengers: Endgame, which is now the second-highest grossing film of all time and will stream exclusively on Disney+ starting December 11th,” Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger commented.