Wed. Feb 28th, 2024
Disney Earnings Soar 7% After Hours: Comeback or False Dawn? Will Iger's Bold Bets Pay Off?

Disney Earnings surprised investors on Wednesday, beating Wall Street estimates and sending the stock price up 7% in after-hours trading. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.04 for the fiscal first quarter, exceeding the analyst consensus of $0.99. This represents a 49% increase from the 70 cents per share reported in the same quarter last year.

While Disney earnings revenue remained nearly flat compared to the prior year at $23.5 billion, falling short of analyst expectations, investors cheered the strong EPS performance and other positive announcements. Notably, Disney CEO Bob Iger reaffirmed the company’s expectation for its streaming business to turn a profit by the end of 2024.

Key Highlights of Disney Earnings:

  • EPS: $1.04 vs. $0.99 analyst estimate (49% YoY increase)
  • Revenue: $23.5 billion (flat YoY)
  • Streaming Losses Narrowed: Operating losses for Disney’s direct-to-consumer streaming services decreased to $216 million from $1.1 billion last year.
  • Password Sharing Crackdown: Disney plans to enforce stricter password sharing rules for its streaming platforms, potentially boosting subscriber growth.
  • Standalone ESPN Streaming Service: A new ESPN+ streaming service offering an “immersive experience” with integrated betting and fantasy sports leagues is planned for 2025.
  • Fortnite Partnership: Disney announced a major $1.5 billion investment in Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, to create a shared “games and entertainment universe” featuring Disney characters.

Iger’s Comeback and Future Challenges:

Bob Iger, who returned as CEO a year ago, expressed optimism about Disney’s turnaround progress. He acknowledged the challenges faced upon his return, including “struggling” studios, financial losses, and shareholder discontent. However, Wednesday’s results suggest Iger’s strategies are starting to bear fruit.

Despite the positive momentum, Disney still faces headwinds. The company must navigate continued streaming losses, address succession planning for Iger’s eventual departure, and contend with pressure from activist investors.

Overall, Disney’s earnings report marks a significant step forward for the company. The strong EPS performance, narrowing streaming losses, and strategic announcements like the ESPN+ service and Fortnite partnership indicate a renewed focus on growth and profitability. While challenges remain, investors appear confident in Iger’s leadership and Disney’s future prospects.

Want to stay ahead of the curve in the entertainment industry? Explore our other articles for insights on the latest trends, streaming wars analysis, and investment opportunities in companies like Netflix, Apple TV+, and Warner Bros. Discovery. Click here to dive deeper!

By Bhaskar D

Hi there! I'm Bhaskar Das, a seasoned professional with over 18 years of experience in the corporate sector, spanning both Indian and US markets. I'm dedicated to staying updated with the latest news and trends, ensuring that my insights and perspectives remain relevant and valuable. Join me on my journey as I share my experiences and knowledge across my blogs.

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