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Disney (DIS) earnings Q2 2024

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The “Partners” statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, at Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, at Walt Disney World, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, photographed Saturday, June 3, 2023.

Joe Burbank | Tribune News Service | Getty Images

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Disney reported fiscal second-quarter earnings Tuesday that beat analyst estimates after narrowing streaming losses. Revenue was in line with expectations.

Disney’s total segment operating income jumped 17% as Disney’s entertainment streaming applications — Disney+ and Hulu — turned a profit in the quarter for the first time. When combined with ESPN+, the streaming businesses lost $18 million in the quarter, much narrower than the $659 million loss the division reported a year earlier.

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Entertainment streaming revenue (excluding ESPN+) rose 13% in the quarter to $5.64 billion, and operating income was $47 million after a loss of $587 million a year prior. Disney credited increased Disney+ subscribers and higher average revenue per user for the gains.

Disney+ Core subscribers increased by more than 6 million in the second quarter to 117.6 million global customers. Total Hulu subscribers grew 1% to 50.2 million. ESPN+ subscribers fell 2% to 24.8 million.

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Here is what Disney reported compared with what Wall Street expected, according to LSEG:

  • Earnings per share: $1.21 adjusted vs. $1.10 cents expected
  • Revenue: $22.08 billion vs. $22.11 billion expected

“Our results were driven in large part by our Experiences segment as well as our streaming business,” Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said in a statement. “Importantly, entertainment streaming was profitable for the quarter, and we remain on track to achieve profitability in our combined streaming businesses in Q4.”

U.S. parks and experiences revenue rose 7% to $5.96 billion, and international sales soared 29% to $1.52 billion on increased attendance and higher prices at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.

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Disney reported a loss attributable to the company of $20 million, or 1 cent per share, compared with a profit of $1.27 billion, or 69 cents per share in the year-earlier period. Adjusting for restructuring and impairment charges, among other things, Disney reported a profit of $1.21 per share.

Disney shares fell about 5% in premarket trading Tuesday.

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Traditional businesses struggle

Disney’s TV business continued to lag as millions of Americans drop cable TV each year. While ESPN’s revenue rose 3% to $4.21 billion, operating income dropped 9% to $799 million. Lower advertising revenue, a drop in cable subscribers, and higher programming costs attributable to the College Football Playoff led to the decline.

Linear network revenue across Disney’s portfolio, excluding ESPN, fell 8% to $2.77 billion. Operating incomed slumped 22% to $752 million. Disney cited fewer subscribers and a drop in international affiliate fees due to contract rate decreases for the declines. Advertising revenue decreases due to “lower average viewership” was also a factor, Disney said.

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Content sales, licensing and other revenue, which includes box office, fell 40% in the quarter to $1.39 billion as Disney didn’t have any blockbuster movies in the quarter. Disney noted last year’s quarter also included the benefit of the ongoing performance of “Avatar: The Way of Water,” which was released in December 2022 and generated more than $2.3 billion in global box office sales.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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