Why Disney Earnings, Revenues Disappointed Investors

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The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) reported fiscal first-quarter 2017 results after markets closed Tuesday afternoon. The entertainment giant posted quarterly adjusted EPS of $1.55 and $14.78 billion in revenues. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.63 on revenues of $15.24 billion. First-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $1.50 and $15.26 billion in revenues.

Cable networks revenue dropped 2% and broadcasting networks revenues were flat. Total media networks revenue fell 2% from $6.33 billion to $6.23 billion. Operating income fell 4% from $1.41 billion to $1.36 billion. The drop in media networks operating income was due to higher programming costs at ESPN, among other things.

Broadcasting revenues were flat buy operating income rose 28% to $379 million. The increase was attributed to revenue growth resulting from rate increases while impressions were down due to “lower average viewership” and, “to a lesser extent, fewer units delivered.”

CEO Robert Iger said:

We’re very pleased with our financial performance in the first quarter. Our Parks and Resorts delivered excellent results and, coming off a record year, our Studio had three global hits including our first billion-dollar film of fiscal 2017, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. With our proven strategy and unparalleled collection of brands and franchises, we are extremely confident in our ability to continue to drive significant value over the long term.

Revenues at Parks and Resorts rose 6% to $4.6 billion and operating income rose 13% to $1.1 billion.

Studio revenues fell 7% to $2.5 billion and operating income slipped $842 million.

For the second fiscal quarter analysts are looking for EPS of $1.43 and revenues of $13.58 billion. For the full year consensus estimates call for EPS of $5.91 and revenues of $57.42 billion.

The shortfall in first-quarter revenues is pushing the stock lower, especially on the lower revenues and operating income in the cable network segment. This was not the best quarter the House of Mouse has ever had.

Shares closed down about 0.5% on Tuesday at $109.00. In after-hours trading the shares are down another 1.6% at $107.24. The stock’s 52-week range is $86.25 to $111.99.  The consensus 12- month price target was $114.57 before the press release.