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Star India losses partially offset Disney’s international revenue

The company posted weaker than expected earnings per share and revenue in its Q3 results

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MUMBAI: The giant media conglomerate Walt Disney Company could not reach Wall Street’s expectations for the quarter ended 29 June 2019. The company posted weaker than expected earnings per share and revenue in its Q3 results. Star India which now comes under Disney after the merger with 21st Century Fox affected the company’s revenue.

Earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter decreased 28 per cent to $1.35 from $1.87 in the prior-year quarter while the expectation was $1.74 by the analysts. Total revenue stood at $20.2 billion against the consensus estimate for $21.4 billion.

"Our third-quarter results reflect our efforts to effectively integrate the 21st Century Fox assets to enhance and advance our strategic transformation,” Disney Chairman Bob Iger said. “We remain confident in our ability to successful execute our strategy,” he added.

Cable Networks revenues for the quarter increased 24 per cent to $4.5 billion and operating income increased 15 per cent to $1.6 billion. The company said higher operating income was due to the consolidation of 21CF businesses (primarily the FX and National Geographic networks) and an increase at ESPN.

"Results for the quarter also reflected a benefit from the inclusion of the 21CF businesses due to income at the Fox and National Geographic international channels, partially offset by a loss at Star India,” the company said in a release.

Direct-to-consumer and international revenues for the quarter increased from $827 million to $3,858 million and segment operating loss increased from $168 million to $553 million. The increase in operating loss was due to the consolidation of Hulu, the ramp-up of investment in ESPN+, which was launched in April 2018 and costs associated with the upcoming launch of Disney+.

Studio Entertainment revenues for the quarter saw a 33 per cent increase to $3.8 billion and segment operating income increased 13 per cent o $792 million. Parks, Experiences and Products revenues for the quarter increased 7 per cent to $6.6 billion and segment operating income increased 4 per cent to $1.7 billion.

"The incredible popularity of Disney’s brands and franchises positions us well as we launch Disney+, and the addition of original and library content from Fox will only further strengthen our direct-to-consumer offerings,”  Iger said in the earnings release despite the bumpy quarter.

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