LOS ANGELES – Lower subscriber losses and lower top and bottom lines were the highlights DisneyEarnings report for the first quarter of the fiscal period.
While the company’s linear TV and direct-to-consumer divisions struggled during the period, its theme parks posted strong year-over-year growth.
With CEO Bob Iger back at the helm, Disney is looking to make a “significant transformation” of its business by cutting costs and putting creative power back in the hands of content creators.
“We believe the work we are doing to realign our company around creativity while reducing costs will drive sustainable growth and profitability in our streaming business, better position us to withstand future disruption and global economic challenges, and deliver value to our shareholders,” Iger said in a statement ahead of the company’s earnings call.
Here are the results compared to Refinitiv and StreetAccount estimates:
- Earnings per share: 99 cents per share, approx. compared with expectations of 78 cents a share, according to a survey of analysts by Refinitiv
- income: $23.51 billion versus expectations of $23.37 billion, according to Refinitiv
- Total Disney+ Subscriptions: 161.1 million is expected, according to StreetAccount
Iger’s return comes as legacy media companies grapple with a rapidly changing landscape as ad dollars dry up and consumers increasingly ditch cable subscriptions in favor of streaming. Even the streaming space has been difficult to navigate in recent quarters as spending has increased and consumers have become more mindful of their media spending.
A recent price increase for Disney’s streaming service likely resulted in the loss of about 2.4 million Disney+ subscribers during the quarter. The company was expected to lose more than 3 million, according to StreetAccount.
Also, as Disney had forecast in previous quarters, its direct-to-consumer services posted operating losses again. It posted an operating loss of $1.05 billion in the latest quarter, short of Wall Street’s forecast of $1.2 billion.
A bright spot for Disney was its parks, experiences and products divisions, which increased revenue by 21% to $8.7 billion in the most recent quarter.
Just over $6 billion of that revenue came from theme park locations. The company said guests spent more time and money during the quarter visiting its parks, hotels and cruises, as well as on additional digital products such as Genie+ and Lightning Lane.
Tune in to CNBC Thursday at 9 a.m. ET for an exclusive interview with Disney CEO Bob Iger.