Disney Faces Deepening Trouble

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The Walt Disney Company, plagued by trouble in its streaming business, TV networks, and studios, now faces problems at its mighty theme parks. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Data from a travel company that tracks line-waiting time at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., shows that the Independence Day weekend was one of the slowest in nearly a decade.” The deep problems CEO Bob Iger faces grow more troubling by the month.

Disney’s stock has been down 50% in the last two years while the market is flat. Iger replaced Bob Chapek in November 2022, but the two-year-old slide covers the period during which Iger restructured Disney.

In the most recently reported quarter, Disney segment operating revenue rose 8% to $21.8 billion. This rise was because of theme parks, the revenue of which rose 17% to $7.8 billion. Operating segment income for Disney was $3.4 billion, down 11%. Theme park operating income rose 25% to $2.2 billion.

Disney described the health of its theme parks by announcing, “The increase in operating results at Disneyland Paris was due to volume growth, which was attributable to higher attendance, and increased guest spending, partially offset by higher costs.” If theme park activity at locations outside Orlando is weak, Disney cannot make up for the problem financially.

Iger has faced challenge after challenge, and the number may have gotten worse.

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