Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday beat Wall Street earnings forecasts for its fiscal second quarter as it benefited from strong advertising sales and the continuing popularity of merchandise from the film “Frozen.”
The Burbank entertainment and media giant reported net income of $2.1 billion ($1.23 a share) for the quarter ended March 28, compared with net income of $1.9 billion ($1.08) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue increased 7 percent to $12.5 billion.
Analysts on average expected net income of $1.11 cents a share on revenue of $12.3 billion, according to Thomson Financial Network.
“Our second quarter performance, marked by increased revenue, net income and (earnings) of $1.23, demonstrates the incredible ability of our strong brands and quality content to drive results,” Chief Executive Robert Iger said in a prepared statement.
Media networks led the five business units, as revenue increased 13 percent to $5.8 billion; both cable and broadcasting brought in higher advertising revenue. Consumer Products had a 10 percent increase in sales to $971 million as merchandise from “Frozen,” the huge animated hit from 2013, has remained popular with consumers.
“Frozen” is the top film made by Walt Disney Animation Studios having brought in more than $1.2 billion in global box office receipts.
Studio entertainment saw a 6 percent decrease from a year ago to $1.7 billion due to decreases in domestic home entertainment and international theatrical distribution. In the second quarter last fiscal year, Disney was seeing strong DVD and other home format sales of “Frozen.” This year, the main home entertainment release was “Big Hero Six,” a popular but not nearly as successful film.
The Parks and Resorts division had a 6 percent increase in revenue to $3.8 billion due to ticket price increases at U.S. theme parks and increased spending by visitors. The Interactive division had a 12 percent decrease to $235 million as sales of the “Infinity” console game and of mobile game titles slacked off.
The earnings release was moved up from later in the day to allow Disney executive to attend the funeral of tech executive David Goldberg, the husband of Disney board member Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook.
The earnings caused the stock to briefly hit an all-time hit of $112.21 before profit taking. Shares closed down 22 cents to $110.81 on the New York Stock Exchange.