Disney revenue gets lift from theme parks, TV networks

Tue May 5, 2015 11:43am EDT
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By Abhirup Roy

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co's (DIS.N: Quote) quarterly revenue beat analysts' expectations, helped by increased spending by visitors at its theme parks and strength in the company's TV networks business.

The company's shares rose as much as 2 percent to a record high of $113.30 in early trading. Up to Monday's close, they had gained 38 percent in the past year.

Results for the quarter were also boosted by a surge in sales of toys and merchandise related to blockbuster animated film "Frozen".

While the studio business failed to keep pace with last year's "Frozen"-fueled growth, "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" is expected to boost revenue in the current quarter.

The sequel opened last weekend with $191.2 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada — the second-biggest opening of all time.

"As much as the quarter itself was strong the outlook for the next few quarters, with so many big franchise properties coming to market, looks to be just as good," Macquarie Research analyst Timothy Nollen told Reuters.

Revenue at theme parks rose 6 percent to $3.76 billion, pushing up the unit's operating income 24 percent as ticket prices and hotel room rates increased and visitors spent more on food, drinks and merchandise.

Total revenue rose 7 percent to $12.46 billion in the second quarter ended March 28, topping the average analyst estimate of $12.25 billion.   Continued...

The main gate of entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. is pictured in Burbank, California May 5, 2009.  REUTERS/Fred Prouser