Disney beats forecasts as 'Frozen' fuels earnings

Tue May 6, 2014 7:26pm EDT
 
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By Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) - Media company Walt Disney Co (DIS.N: Quote) on Tuesday reported higher profit that beat Wall Street expectations for the quarter ended in March, boosted by the continued strength of its blockbuster animated film "Frozen."

The company said it posted adjusted earnings of $1.11 a share, beating the 96 cent average forecast of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. A year ago, Disney reported adjusted earnings of 79 cents a share.

Disney shares rose 1.3 percent in after-hours trading, to $82.05 a share.

Net income for the quarter increased to $1.9 billion from $1.5 billion a year earlier, lifted by growth at its movie studio.

The animated blockbuster "Frozen," about two royal sisters in an icy kingdom, continued to propel the studio, which saw its operating income quadruple to $475 million from $118 million a year earlier, partially on the strength of "Frozen" sales on home video.

To further cash in on the film's popularity, Disney will increase the presence of "Frozen" characters at theme parks and could to use them in its publishing and interactive gaming businesses, Chief Executive Bob Iger said on a conference call.

"The passion for this film and these characters is so extraordinary, so well beyond what we've ever imagined, that it would be hard to believe that it wouldn't sustain itself over a fairly long period of time," Iger said.

The film had worldwide ticket sales of $1.2 billion, including $400.3 million during its five-month run in U.S. and Canadian theaters.   Continued...

 
The signage at the main gate of The Walt Disney Co. is pictured in Burbank, California, May 7, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser