Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday reported sharply higher earnings, helped by strong results at its cable networks and movie studio.
Net income rose 40% to $1.3 billion, or 67 cents per share, from $954 million, or 51 cents a year ago. Revenues rose 16% to $10 billion.
"We grew revenues substantially and improved profitability across the
majority of our businesses," said President and CEO Robert Iger. "Our
performance underscores the value of sticking to a smart strategy even
in tough times, of investing in the right people, and of focusing
relentlessly on quality and innovation to drive growth in shareholder
Disney's Media Networks division, which includes ABC and ESPN, recorded a
19% increase in revenue to $4.7 billion. Operating income rose 43% to
Revenue rose 4% to $1.4 billion at Disney's broadcast outlets and 28% at
its cable units. Operating income rose 50% to $1.7 billion at the cable
networks, and 2% to $209 million in broadcasting.
The cable networks benefited from revenue that had been previously
deferred at ESPN. ESPN also had higher affiliate and advertising revenue
that was partially offset by higher programming and production costs
due to the World Cup and ESPN's new U.K. network, Disney said.
Broadcasting benefited from higher ad revenues at its television
stations and higher revenues at ABC Studios due to international sales
of Castle, Lost and Ghost Whisperer. Some of those gains were offset by
higher programming costs at ABC Television. Ad sales at the ABC
Television Network were flat because a drop in sold inventory and lower
ratings offset higher prices.