Disney 3Q net income nearly flat, revenue climbs

Associated Press

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — Earnings at The Walt Disney Co. were nearly unchanged in the latest quarter, while revenue increased 4 percent thanks to a boost from Disney's theme parks and resorts business and cable networks such as ESPN.

Disney said Tuesday that it earned $1.85 billion, or $1.01 per share, in the fiscal third quarter, which ended June 29. That compares with $1.83 billion, or $1.01 per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, earnings were $1.03 per share in the latest quarter, surpassing Wall Street's expectations.

Revenue was $11.6 billion, up from $11.1 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of $1.01 per share on revenue of $11.7 billion.

Revenue at Disney's parks and resorts business grew 7 percent to $3.7 billion.

Cable networks revenue grew 8 percent to $3.9 billion, thanks to growth at ESPN, A&E and U.S. Disney channels. Broadcast revenue, meanwhile, was unchanged at nearly $1.5 billion. Overall, the media networks business grew 5 percent to $5.4 billion.

Movie studio revenue fell 2 percent to $1.6 billion. Disney said results suffered from marketing costs for "The Lone Ranger" and the slower performance of "Iron Man 3" compared with "The Avengers" a year earlier.

Nonetheless, CEO Bob Iger said that Disney's acquisition of Marvel "continues to drive real value" for the company. Marvel is behind both "Iron Man" and "The Avengers," along with upcoming movies such as "Thor: The Dark World."

Disney said the Pixar movie "Monsters University" was outperforming "Brave" in the year-ago period. In a conference call with analysts, Iger said "Monsters" was "the latest in Pixar's unbroken string of hits."

On the other hand, Disney said it expects to incur a loss of $160 million to $190 million on "The Lone Ranger" in the current, fiscal fourth quarter.

Shares of the Burbank, Calif.-based company fell $1.05, or nearly 1.6 percent, to $66 in after-hours trading, after the release of results. The stock had closed up $1.03 at $67.05.

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