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Disney Has Record Fiscal Year, Earnings Meet Expectations in Q4

“Our results for Fiscal 2014 were the highest in the company’s history, marking our fourth consecutive year of record performance,” says CEO Robert Iger

The Walt Disney Company reported a record $48.8 billion in revenue for 2014, up 8 percent from a year-ago period.

The company’s quarterly earnings came in on par with expectations with 89 cents per share on revenues of $12.39 billion.

“Our results for Fiscal 2014 were the highest in the Company’s history, marking our fourth consecutive year of record performance,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We’re obviously very pleased with this achievement and believe it reflects the extraordinary quality of our content and our unique ability to leverage success across the company to create significant value, as well as our focus on embracing and adapting to emerging consumer trends and technology.”

Analysts expected to see Disney quarterly earnings at 89 cents a share up from 77 cents at the same time last year. Quarterly revenue was predicted to come in at $12.37 billion. Projected sales for the entire year were estimated at $48.8 billion.

Solid programming with shows like “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder” helped Disney’s media networks see revenue hit $5.2 billion on the quarter, up 5 percent. Operating income was stagnant at $1.4 billion. For the fiscal year, media network revenue was up 4 percent, hitting $21.2 billion, with profits at $7.3 billion.

In early October, Iger announced he wouldn’t retire in 2016 and extended his contract. He will remain Disney’s CEO through 2018.

The film side of the business looks bright for the studio for the foreseeable future, however. “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Maleficent” drove the quarter, their performances far exceeding “Lone Ranger” in the same quarter last year.

On Thursday morning the studio announced that “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” completed principal photography. J.J. Abrams is directing “Episode VII” which hits theaters Dec. 18, 2015. Two more films set in the “Star Wars” universe are also in the works. One will be directed by “Chronicle’s” Josh Trank and the other by “Looper”director Rian Johnson.

Last week, the company’s Marvel Entertainment unit unveiled its entire slate of eleven superhero films through 2019. Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment for in 2009 for $4.24 billion.

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“Avengers: Age of Ultron” kicks things off on May 1, 2015 and another “Avengers” team-up, “Infinity War,” will wrap things up on May 3, 2019. In between, Marvel announced eight new films Tuesday in addition to the previously confirmed “Ant-Man.” Among the other non-sequels are “Doctor Strange,” which will be released on No 4, 2016, Chadwick Boseman-led “Black Panther,” which will drop Nov 3, 2017, the female-led “Captain Marvel,” set for a July 6, 2018 release and “Inhumans,” earmarked for Nov 2, 2018.