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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