Disney shares jumped 3.9 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday
to $74.52, up from their earlier $71.76 close on the New York Stock
The company posted adjusted earnings per share of $1.04, according
to a statement it released, exceeding the 92 cents average estimate
of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Net income for the
quarter rose to $1.8 billion, a 33 percent gain from a year earlier.
The company's five major business units all reported higher profit,
with the biggest gain at Disney's movie studio.
The unit reported a 75 percent increase in operating income to $409
million. The studio benefited from big box office grosses for
"Frozen," the story of royal sisters in an icy kingdom, and Marvel
superhero sequel "Thor: The Dark World." The two films have sold
more than $1.5 billion worth of tickets combined worldwide.
Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said "Frozen" sales were
growing as the movie just opened in China and will debut in Japan in
March. The popularity of "Frozen," produced by Walt Disney Animation
Studios, also is fueling toy and music sales related to the film, he
"This has real franchise potential," Iger told analysts on a
conference call. "Expect to see continued interest in this and
continued impact on the bottom line for quite a while."
The media networks unit, which includes ESPN and the Disney
Channels, reported $1.5 billion in operating income for the quarter,
a 20 percent gain from a year earlier. ESPN took in higher affiliate
fees and advertising revenue.
"They are clearly doing a good job making brands at the studio and
monetizing them," Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Tony Wible said,
but he added that results at the ABC broadcasting unit "were not
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Operating income fell by $84 million at the ABC division to $178
million, due to higher programming costs, lower program sales and
decreased advertising revenue, Disney said.
At Disney's theme parks, higher guest spending in the United States
helped the unit's profit rise by 16 percent to $671 million.
Profit at consumer products rose 24 percent to $430 million, lifted
by the inclusion of licensing of products from Lucasfilm, the "Star
Wars" producer Disney purchased in 2012.
Disney's interactive gaming unit posted a $55 million profit,
boosted by sales of its ambitious new video game Disney Infinity.
The unit is expected to post an operating loss for the January
through March quarter, Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said,
because it doesn't have any major game releases scheduled.
He said the loss will be comparable to the unit's performance a year
earlier, when it lost $54 million.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; editing by
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