Los Angeles Business Journal

Disney’s Quarter Beats Expectations

By Deborah Crowe Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Walt Disney Co. said that its fiscal second-quarter profit jumped 21 percent, with stronger revenue from its theme parks and pay TV networks offsetting losses at the film studio unit.

After the Tuesday markets closed, the Burbank entertainment giant reported net income of $1.14 billion (63 cents a share), compared with $942 million (49 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 6 percent to $9.63 billion.

Excluding one-time items, Disney’s net income was 58 cents a share. The company also took $84 million loss based on the poor box office performance of "John Carter," which was offset by a $184 million non-cash gain related to acquisition of a controlling stake in India’s UTV media company.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected adjusted net income of 55 cents on revenue of $9.56 billion.

Higher fees from distributors and advertising sales caused revenue from pay TV channels such as ESPN and Disney Channel to rise 12 percent to $3.2 billion. Parks and resorts revenue grew 10 percent to $2.9 billion as attendance and spending increased at U.S. and Asian parks. ABC broadcast TV revenue was up 2 percent to $1.5 billion. Revenue from the consumer products unit rose 8 percent to $679 million. Interactive media revenue rose 13 percent to $179 million.

“We’re incredibly optimistic about our future, given the strength of our core brands, Disney, Pixar, Marvel, ESPN, and ABC, and our extraordinary ability to grow franchises across our businesses,” said Chief Executive Bob Iger in a statement.

Shares earlier closed up 48 cents, or 1 percent, to $44.30 on the New York Stock Exchange and rose 1.8 percent in after-hours trading.