Disney’s Profit up Despite “John Carter” Disaster

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Walt Disney Studios

Walt Dis­ney Studios

Although the Walt Dis­ney Com­pany lost $200 mil­lion on its partly ani­mated science-fiction bomb John Carter, the enter­tain­ment giant announced Tues­day that its over­all profit from Jan­u­ary through March grew 21%.

Cost­ing $250 mil­lion, John Carter had led to an $84 mil­lion oper­at­ing loss for the movie stu­dio divi­sion dur­ing the fis­cal sec­ond quar­ter. Stu­dio chief Rich Ross stepped down April 13 after the movie dis­as­ter. Rev­enue dropped 12% to $1.2 billion.

Nonethe­less, losses at Disney’s movie stu­dio were at the low end of the $80 mil­lion to $120 mil­lion range that the com­pany had pre­dicted ear­lier due to the poor results of John Carter.

Quar­terly growth at the Mouse House was aided by strong atten­dance at theme parks and higher adver­tis­ing rev­enue at cable networks.

Mean­while, Dis­ney CEO Bob Iger told ana­lysts that a sequel to the super­hero smash hit The Avengers is in development.

In spite of the loss at the company’s stu­dio divi­sion, Dis­ney announced second-quarter earn­ings of $1.1 bil­lion and a 6% rev­enue rise to $9.6 billion.

Adjusted earn­ings per share rose 18% to 58 cents. Ana­lysts had expected 55 cents.

Disney’s earn­ings once again were increased by its media unit, where oper­at­ing earn­ings went up 13% to $1.7 bil­lion in the most recent quarter.

California’s Dis­ney­land set a second-quarter atten­dance record, said chief finan­cial offi­cer. Over­all, earn­ings at the theme park unit jumped 53% to $222 mil­lion. Parks and resorts rev­enue grew 10% to $2.9 bil­lion. Atten­dance and spend­ing grew in the United States, while over­seas parks in Tokyo and Hong Kong expe­ri­enced gains which were par­tially off­set by a decrease in Paris.

You’ve got a parks recov­ery that’s under­way, and you have a cable net­work busi­ness that’s best in class. It showed good growth on the top-line,” Jan­ney Mont­gomery Scott ana­lyst Tony Wible said.

Results for the lat­est quar­ter don’t include the huge tak­ings from Avengers, which has already col­lected $702.2 mil­lion worldwide.

Shares Dis­ney rose 75 cents (1.7%) to $45.05 in after-hours trad­ing after results were released Tues­day. Stock has increased 20% since the begin­ning of the year.

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