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Disney reports second quarter earnings

Walt Disney Co.'s earnings plunged almost 41% in its second quarter. Although Disney said it expects improvement in the second half of the year, it still plans to review its operations in a bid to make them more efficient and increase cash flow. The Burbank, California-based media and entertainment giant turned in net income of $226 million, or 11 cents a diluted share, for the quarter ending March 31, compared with $384 million, or 18 cents a diluted share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding the impact of its 1998 acquisition of a 43% interest in Infoseek Corp., Disney said earnings fell 30% to $269 million, or 13 cents a diluted share. Revenue rose about 5% to $5.51 billion. Revenue from the theme parks and resorts unit rose 13% to $1.4 billion, while revenue from Disney's creative-content unit remained at $2.4 billion. Broadcasting revenue increased 8% to $1.7 billion and operating income advanced 9% to $261 million, boosted by increased network prime-time advertising and subscriber growth at ESPN and the Disney Channel, the company said.

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