Home Editor's Picks Disney earnings beat estimates, but shares fall amid weakness in TV unit

Disney earnings beat estimates, but shares fall amid weakness in TV unit


Investing.com — Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) has reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.21 in its fiscal second-quarter, topping Wall Street estimates, although shares in the entertainment giant were hit by weakness in its traditional TV and box office businesses.

California-based Disney said the bottom-line result persuaded the firm to improve its guidance for full-year per-share income growth to 25%, up from its prior outlook of 20%.

In a statement, Chief Executive Bob Iger, who was at the center of a fight with activist investors led by Trian Partners boss Nelson Peltz, said that a turnaround push he has been helming is yielding “positive results.”

He pointed in particular to a surprise operating profit of $47 million at its direct-to-consumer (DTC) entertainment streaming service, which includes offerings like Disney+ and Hulu, as well as strength its crucial theme parks business.

Although the DTC segment is seen delivering “softer” returns in the current quarter, Iger added that he still expects Disney’s overall streaming business including sports subscription service ESPN+ to be profitable by the fourth quarter. Iger has overseen heavy investments in developing Disney’s streaming presence, arguing that it will be a key part of an ongoing drive to revive its share price after a period of underperformance.   

“[W]e are delivering on our strategic priorities and building for the future,” Iger said.

Group-wide revenues for the quarter jumped to $22.08 billion from $21.8B a year ago, compared to Bloomberg consensus estimates of $22.1B.

Analysts at Wolfe Research flagged that operating income of $752 million at Disney’s linear networks segment, which include channels like ABC and National Geographic, were weaker than projected. There were alos “no significant titles” released in the quarter, the analysts added, causing the company’s content and licensing division to post an operating loss of $18 million.  

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Shares in Disney fell sharply in early U.S. trading on Tuesday. The stock price has gained almost 30% so far this year.

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