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WALT DISNEY COMPANY (THE)

(DIS)
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Walt Disney : Disney revenue gets lift from theme parks, TV networks

05/05/2015 | 11:43am EDT
The main gate of entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. is pictured in Burbank

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co's (>> Walt Disney Co) quarterly revenue beat analysts' expectations, helped by increased spending by visitors at its theme parks and strength in the company's TV networks business.

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co's (>> Walt Disney Co) quarterly revenue beat analysts' expectations, helped by increased spending by visitors at its theme parks and strength in the company's TV networks business.

The company's shares rose as much as 2 percent to a record high of $113.30 in early trading. Up to Monday's close, they had gained 38 percent in the past year.

Results for the quarter were also boosted by a surge in sales of toys and merchandise related to blockbuster animated film "Frozen".

While the studio business failed to keep pace with last year's "Frozen"-fueled growth, "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" is expected to boost revenue in the current quarter.

The sequel opened last weekend with $191.2 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada — the second-biggest opening of all time.

"As much as the quarter itself was strong the outlook for the next few quarters, with so many big franchise properties coming to market, looks to be just as good," Macquarie Research analyst Timothy Nollen told Reuters.

Revenue at theme parks rose 6 percent to $3.76 billion, pushing up the unit's operating income 24 percent as ticket prices and hotel room rates increased and visitors spent more on food, drinks and merchandise.

Total revenue rose 7 percent to $12.46 billion in the second quarter ended March 28, topping the average analyst estimate of $12.25 billion.

Net income attributable to Walt Disney of $1.23 per share also beat the average analyst estimate of $1.11 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Walt Disney's media networks business, which includes sports powerhouse ESPN, the Disney channels and ABC, reported a 13 percent rise in revenue to $5.81 billion, helped by higher ad sales and affiliate fees.

Higher programing and production costs at ESPN, however, pushed the unit's operating income down 2 percent.

ESPN is engaged in a fight with Verizon Inc (>> Verizon Communications Inc.) over customized TV packages that leave the sports network out of the basic channel bundle. The network sued Verizon last week, saying it was violating their contract.

"We are certainly willing to work with various distributors to come up with packages that are of value to their consumers and also continue to provide value for us," Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger said in an interview on CNBC.

Revenue at the studio business dropped 6 percent to $1.69 billion, while sales at the consumer products division rose 10 percent.

(Additional reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; Editing by Joyjeet Das and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

By Abhirup Roy

Stocks treated in this article : Verizon Communications Inc., Walt Disney Co

© Reuters 2015
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS -0.13% 55.88 Delayed Quote.-4.77%
WALT DISNEY COMPANY (THE) 0.58% 176.14 Delayed Quote.-2.78%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 67 594 M - -
Net income 2021 2 368 M - -
Net Debt 2021 40 648 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 134x
Yield 2021 0,18%
Capitalization 320 B 320 B -
EV / Sales 2021 5,34x
EV / Sales 2022 4,19x
Nbr of Employees 170 000
Free-Float 98,8%
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 29
Last Close Price 176,14 $
Average target price 206,01 $
Spread / Average Target 17,0%
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Managers and Directors
Robert A. Chapek Chief Executive Officer & Director
Christine M. McCarthy Chief Financial Officer & Senior Executive VP
Robert A. Iger Executive Chairman
Diane Jurgens Chief Information Officer
Rebecca Campbell Chairman-International Operations
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