ESPN and "Oz" contributed to a stellar quarter for the media giant
The Walt Disney Co. reported a 10 percent jump in revenues and a 36 percent hike in profits on Tuesday for the first three months of the year, thanks to growth in its cable, theme parks and film businesses.
The media conglomerate logged revenues of $10.5 billion for its second fiscal quarter, compared to $9.6 billion a year ago. Earnings per share came in at 79 cents compared to 58 cents a year ago.
Those figures topped Wall Street's expectations. Analysts projected the company would report a profit of 77 cents a share and revenues of $10.5 billion for the quarter ended March 30, according to Zacks.
All of the company's five major segments — film studio, interactive gaming operation, television business, parks and resorts, plus its consumer products division — reported growth in profits and revenues. The biggest increases came in Disney's film, consumer products and theme parks side, all of which saw double-digit revenue jumps.
Disney's film division showed marked improvement over the same quarter last year, when the $250 million budgeted "John Carter" failed to attract big crowds.
This year, the studio had a global hit with the release of "Oz the Great and Powerful" at the end of the quarter and continued to rake in profits from the holiday release "Wreck-It Ralph." Revenues at the studio increased 13 percent to $1.3 billion for the period. After posting an $84 million loss last year during the quarter, Disney saw operating income increase to $118 million for the period ending in March.
Growth in ESPN's affiliate revenues and advertising revenues helped off-set sluggishness at ABC, Disney's broadcast network. Disney's cable holdings saw revenues jump 9 percent to nearly $3.5 billion, while operating income rose 15 percent to $1.7 billion.
Weaker ad sales and higher programming costs, however, dragged down earnings on the broadcast side. Revenues fell 2 percent to $1.5 billion while operating income fell 40 percent to $138 million.
Disney's parks and resort business saw revenues for the quarter increase 14 percent to $3.3 billion and segment operating income increase 73 percent to $383 million. The company attributed the improvement to higher attendance at its Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts and the launch of its new Disney Fantasy cruise ship.
Shares of the company were up 0.14 percent to $66.16 as of 4:52 EST.