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Disney Profit Falls Yet Tops Estimate


Diversified media and entertainment conglomerate Walt Disney Co. (DIS) said Tuesday after the markets closed that its first quarter profit fell 6% from last year, hurt by lower earnings at its studio entertainment division.

However, the company's quarterly earnings per share came in above analysts' expectations as did its quarterly revenue.

Disney shares are currently gaining 1.68% in after hours trading after closing the day's regular trading session at $54.29, up 39 cents. The shares trade in a 52-week range of $40.20 to $54.87.

First quarter revenue from the company's studio entertainment division fell 5% to $1.5 billion, and the division's operating income dropped 43% to $234 million, hurt by decreases in home entertainment and theatrical distribution.

The decline in theatrical distribution was mainly driven by marketing and distribution costs for Lincoln and Monsters, Inc. 3D.

In December, Walt Disney completed its acquisition of Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC in a deal valued at about $4.06 billion. The deal includes the "Star Wars" film franchisee.

In the last few quarters, Disney has benefited immensely from its media networks and theme parks businesses.

Revenue from the company's media networks segment, which includes cable network ESPN and broadcaster ABC, rose 7% year-over year to $5.1 billion, while the segment's operating income for the quarter grew 2% to $1.2 billion.

Operating income at Cable Networks declined 2% to $952 million in the first quarter due to a decrease at ESPN due to higher programming and production costs.

Operating income at Broadcasting rose 16% to $262 million, driven by higher advertising revenues at the ABC Television Network and owned television stations and higher program sales.

First quarter revenue from parks and resorts rose 7% to $3.4 billion, while segment's operating income increased 4% to $577 million, driven by growths at the company's domestic operations.

Consumer Products revenues for the quarter increased 7% to $1.0 billion and the segment's operating income rose 11% to $346 million.

Interactive Media revenues for the quarter increased 4% to $291 million, and the division's operating results improved from a loss of $28 million to income of $9 million.

For the first quarter ended December 29, 2012, the Burbank, California-based company reported net income of $1.38 billion or $0.77 per share, compared to $1.46 billion or $0.80 per share for the year-ago quarter.

Excluding the Hulu LLC equity redemption charge and other items, adjusted earnings for the latest quarter were $0.79 per share.

On average, 24 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $0.76 per share for the first quarter.

Segment operating income for the quarter declined 3% to $2.38 billion from $2.44 billion a year earlier.

Revenue for the first quarter rose 5% to $11.34 billion from $10.78 billion in the same quarter last year. Twenty-two analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $11.21 billion for the first quarter.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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