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Tuesday, Mar 5, 2024

Box Office Boosts Disney Earnings

Walt Disney Co. soundly beat profit and narrowly beat revenue forecasts for its fiscal second quarter, helped along by strong gains by film releases and theme park and resorts. The Burbank entertainment and media conglomerate reported net income of $1.51 billion (83 cents a share) for the quarter ended March 30, compared with $1.14 billion (63 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose almost 9 percent to $10.55 billion. Analysts had forecast net income of 76 cents a share on revenue of $10.5 billion, according to Thomson Financial Network. The company reported revenue gains in nearly all segments, highlighted by a 14 percent jump in theme parks and resorts. Disney said the gain was because of increased guest spending and attendance at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Studio Entertainment revenue increased 13 percent to $1.3 billion. That growth stems from strong distribution results of “Oz The Great And Powerful” and “Wreck-it Ralph.” The only category that reported a decrease was its broadcast segment. Operating income fell $91 million, or 40 percent, to $138 million. The company said the decrease was because of higher primetime programming costs and lower advertising revenue at the ABC Television Network. The earnings release comes a day after the company signed a multiyear, exclusive licensing agreement with Electronic Arts Inc. of Redwood City to produce new “Star Wars” video games for Disney’s upcoming restart of the George Lucas series. Shares closed up $1.01, or 1.55 percent, to $66.07 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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