Disney 4Q profit in line, revenue misses forecast
LOS ANGELES -- The Walt Disney Co. said Thursday that its net income in the latest quarter rose 14 percent thanks to an uptick in revenue driven by higher consumer spending at its theme parks and on its cruise ships.
Results were announced a week after Disney said it would buy Lucasfilm Ltd. and revive the "Star Wars" franchise with a new trilogy starting in 2015.
Net income in the three months to Sept. 29 rose to $1.24 billion, or 68 cents per share, from $1.09 billion, or 58 cents per share, a year ago.
Adjusted earnings of 68 cents per share matched the expectations of analysts polled by FactSet.
Revenue rose 3 percent to $10.78 billion, slightly below the $10.93 billion analysts expected.
The parks and resorts division was helped by the launch of its newest cruise ship, the Disney Fantasy, in March, and the opening of a new section at Disney California Adventure called Cars Land in June.
Movie studio revenue fell as "Brave" failed to perform as well as "Cars 2" a year ago. Revenue at the company's pay TV and broadcast networks grew a modest 2 percent. Smaller audiences and lower ad revenue at ABC slowed the company's momentum. At the same time, ESPN gained more in fees from distributors but saw flat ad revenue as viewers and advertisers turned their attention toward the Olympics on NBC.
The company said losses grew at Hulu, the online video service it owns jointly with News Corp. and Comcast Corp., due to higher programming and marketing costs.
Disney's stock fell $1.04, or 2 percent, to $49 in after-hours trading following the earnings release.