Box office hits Frozen and Thor: The Dark World help propel Disney to outstanding earnings for the three months ended December 28.
According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, the media giant exceeded Wall Street expectations in every key rubric. Diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of its fiscal year increased 32 percent to $1.04 from 79 cents in the prior-year quarter, while revenues climbed 9 percent to $12.3 billion from $11.3 billion in the year-ago period. Net income increased 33 percent to $1.8 billion.
The standout was the company’s studio division, which saw revenues jump 23 percent to $1.9 billion and operating income improve 75 percent to $409 million as audiences embraced the Oscar-nominated Frozen and the Thor sequel. Frozen recently passed The Lion King as Disney’s highest-grossing original animated movie.
“These results reflect the strength of our unprecedented portfolio of brands, a constant focus on creativity and innovation, and the continued success of our long-term strategy,” Robert Iger, Disney’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
Disney’s parks and resorts division climbed six percent to $3.6 billion and saw operating income improve 16 percent to $671 million. With ESPN as the main driver, Disney’s media networks division saw revenues improve four percent to $5.2 billion, with net income growing 20 percent to $1.5 billion.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.