Treasure Planet Unearths No Gold For Disney Investors

Based on the lackluster performance of its latest animated feature TREASURE PLANET, The Walt Disney Co. has lowered its fourth quarter earnings. Disney reported quarterly earnings of 11 cents per share and total income of $222 million. The company is now reporting earnings of 9 cents per share for the fourth quarter ended September 30 for a quarterly net income of $175 million. The adjustment changes its per-share earnings for the full year from 63 cents to 60 cents. TREASURE PLANET cost $140 million to make and has earned approximately $17 million in six days of release. Disney has stated that current accounting rules require an adjustment to the September 30, 2002 book value of the film. This adjustment amounts to $74 million before tax and $47 million after taxes. The company also warned that its first quarter results would be reduced by 1 cent per share due to the poor performance of the film. Disney also announced that it has elected Robert W. Matschullat, former vice chairman and CFO of Seagram, as a new independent director, effective immediately, and appointed Sen. George Mitchell as presiding director. The board also reconstituted the membership of its key committees. The company made this move in response to an August 2001 amendment to Disney's year-end statements that revealed three of Disney's independent board members had grown children employed at Disney in recent years. Federal regulators are currently investigating these revelations.

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