On a day when the Dow plummeted 370 points, Disney reported first-quarter earnings buoyed by the strong performance of its TV networks and theme-park business.
Reporting net income of $1.25 billion, or 63 cents per share, which represented a 27% decline from $1.68 billion a year earlier, Disney pointed to a strong advertising market for its cable and broadcast networks and growth at both its domestic and international parks and resorts.
Revenues for the period ended Dec. 29 were $10.45 billion, a 9% gain over the period in the year previous, while operating income rose 15% to $2.249 billion.
For studio entertainment, revenues were flat and operating income sank 15% to $514 million. But the company’s media networks saw a 10% gain in revenue to $4.169 billion and a 28% jump in operating income to $908 million.
Operating income at Disney’s cable networks increased 27%, to $586 million, driven by growth at ESPN, ABC Family and domestic Disney Channel (thanks largely to the High School Musical 2 and Hannah Montana franchises).
In broadcasting, ABC saw a 30% jump in operating income to $322 million thanks to higher primetime ad revenue, although high programming costs and lower ratings took their toll.