Disney profit beats, driven by theme parks, ABC network

Disney profit beats, driven by theme parks, ABC network

Walt Disney Co reported first-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates on Tuesday, helped by higher customer spending at its U.S. theme parks and resorts, as well as strength in its media network business.

FILE PHOTO - The entrance to Walt Disney studios is seen in Burbank
FILE PHOTO - The entrance to Walt Disney studios is seen in Burbank, California, U.S. August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

REUTERS: Walt Disney Co reported first-quarter profit and revenue that beat analysts' estimates on Tuesday, helped by higher customer spending at its U.S. theme parks and resorts, as well as growth in its ABC broadcast network.

Shares of the company rose 2 percent to US$114.85 after the bell.

Revenue from its theme parks and resorts business rose 4.6 percent to US$6.82 billion, while its media networks unit reported a 7 percent rise in operating income to US$1.33 billion.

Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger is taking on traditional competitors and streaming services providers such as Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc's Prime Video by buying the bulk of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's TV and film units, as well as launching its own streaming service.

The service, Disney+, is set to launch later this year and will be a part of the company's "direct-to-consumer and international" unit, which was created in the latest quarter to include all of Disney's streaming services.

The unit posted an operating loss of US$136 million in the quarter, due to ramp up of ESPN+, spending on streaming technology and building of Disney+.

Net income attributable to Disney fell to US$2.79 billion, or US$1.86 per share, in the first quarter ended Dec. 29 from US$4.42 billion, or US$2.91 per share, a year earlier. The surge in profit last year reflected a US$1.6 billion gain due to changes in the U.S. tax law.

Excluding certain items, Disney earned US$1.84 per share, above analysts' expectations of US$1.55 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company said total revenue fell to US$15.30 billion from US$15.35 billion, but beat analysts' estimates of US$15.14 billion.

(Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

Source: Reuters

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