Walt Disney Co. reported a strong fiscal
third quarter, fueled by blockbuster films like The Avengers.
Overall revenue rose 4% to $11.1 billion, segment operating income grew 18%
to 3.2 billion and net income was up a strong 24% to $1.8 billion in the
period. Almost all of that growth was driven by its movie studio, which
reported a six-fold increase in operating income to $313 million while revenue
remained flat at $1.6 billion.
At its media networks, revenue increased 3% to $.1 billion
and segment operating income was up 2% to $2.1 billion. At its cable networks,
including sports juggernaut ESPN, revenue rose 3% to $3.6 billion but segment
operating income was up just 1% to $1.9 billion. At its networks division --
including the ABC broadcast network and its owned and operated television
stations --revenue increased 3% and segment operating income rose 7% to $268
In a statement, Disney said strong revenue gains at its
Disney Channels were offset by a decline at ESPN, driven by lower recognition
of deferred affiliate fees related to annual programming commitments.
"We had a phenomenal third quarter, delivering the largest quarterly
earnings in the history of our company," said Disney chairman and CEO
Robert Iger in a statement. "Earnings per share were up 31% over last
year, driven by growth in every one of our businesses. We also delivered record
earnings per share for the first nine months of our fiscal year, and we believe
our results clearly demonstrate Disney's unique value proposition and great
potential to deliver long-term growth."