Disney Earnings Buoyed by “Monsters University,” Weighed by TV

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The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) reported fourth fiscal quarter and full-year 2013 earnings after markets closed Thursday. For the quarter, the entertainment giant posted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.77 on revenues of $11.57 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.68 on revenues of $10.78 billion.Fourth-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.76 and $11.4 billion in revenues.

For the full year, adjusted EPS totaled $3.39 on revenues of $45.04. The consensus estimate had called for EPS of $3.38 on revenues of $44.87 billion.

For the quarter, revenues rose in each of the company’s five operating segments, with a jump of 14% in the consumer products segment and a doubling of revenues in the interactive segment.

The story was not as positive in operating income, where the media networks segment showed a decline of 8% year-over-year. Cable networks were down 7% and broadcasting was down 18%. Broadcasting income was hit by an unfavorable comparison on syndication sales and higher marketing costs for the company’s fall season. ABC, the broadcast network, also spent more on primetime programming, replacing inexpensive reality shows with more costly original programming.

Even including the turkey known as “The Lone Ranger,” the studio entertainment segment posted a 35% boost in operating income.

The company’s CEO said:

We’re extremely pleased with our results for Fiscal 2013, delivering record revenue, net income and earnings per share for the third year in a row. It was another great year for the Company, both creatively and financially, and we remain confident that we are well positioned to continue our strong performance and drive long-term shareholder value.

For the first quarter of the company’s 2014 fiscal year the consensus estimates call for EPS
of $0.89 on revenues of $12.18 billion. For the fiscal year ahead the estimates are $3.93 in EPS and revenues of $47.84 billion.

The company’s shares are down about 1.3% in after-hours trading today, at $66.00 in a 52-week range of $46.53 to $69.87. The consensus target price for the shares was around $74.00 before today’s report.

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