Disney profit rises with gains at cable networks

Thu Nov 5, 2015 5:34pm EST
 
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By Lisa Richwine and Devika Krishna Kumar

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co reported a rise in quarterly profit that beat Wall Street forecasts as cable networks including ESPN brought in higher advertising revenue and collected more fees from pay TV distributors.

Revenue came in slightly below analysts' estimates. The company also said it lost subscribers at certain cable networks while it gained customers from the SEC Network launched last year.

Disney shares fell 0.62 percent in after-hours trading to $110.86.

The company's net income rose to $1.61 billion, or 95 cents per share, from $1.50 billion, or 86 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.20 per share, beating analysts' expectations of $1.14, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company's total revenue rose 9.1 percent to $13.51 billion, but missed the average analyst estimate of about $13.57 billion.

Cable networks such as Disney have been hurt by consumers switching to online streaming services such as Netflix Inc and Hulu, a trend known as "cord-cutting."

In August, Disney sparked a sell-off in media stocks when it acknowledged subscriber losses at ESPN and cut its cable profit outlook.   Continued...

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