Disney beats the Street, buys Club Penguin


The Walt Disney Company is entering the virtually world by acquiring Club Penguin for 350 million bucks. CEO Bob Iger says the online virtual reality site for kids will be immediately accretive. The company plans cross-platform promotion of the website with its Radio Disney operation and its kid-oriented cable networks. The site, with more than 12 million users, is aimed at kids ages 6-14. Disney reported that revenues for its fiscal Q3 (April-June) rose 6% to 9.04 billion. Earnings per share were 58 cents, beating the Thomson/First Call consensus by four cents.

This was the first report by Disney since its spin-off of ABC Radio to Citadel. The company is now reporting its remaining ESPN Radio and Radio Disney operations within its Cable Networks division. Revenues there were up 4% to 2.31 billion and segment operating income rose 9% to 1.06 billion.

Broadcasting revenues rose 9% to 1.51 billion, driven by higher ad sales for the ABC Television Network. Segment operating income more than doubled to 295 million form 130 million a year earlier.