Disney posts record earnings for fiscal year


Wrapping up its fiscal year, The Walt Disney Company reported that Q4 (June-September) revenues were up 3% to 8.93 billion. That brought the full year revenue gain to 5%, hitting 35.51 billion. Net income rose to 4.7 billion from 3.4 billion and earnings per share were a record 2.25, including 33 cents in one-time items, up from 1.64 a year earlier.

In the final quarter, Media Networks revenues were up 14% to 4.02 billion and operating income increased 25% to 1.07 million. Cable was the driver for the quarter, with cable networks revenues up 24% to 2.80 billion and operating income up 30% to 1.10 billion, credited to growth at ESPN and the international Disney channels. Having sold ABC Radio to Citadel, Disney does not break out its remaining ESPN Radio and Radio Disney operations, which are now part of the cable segment.

Broadcasting revenues were down 5% for the quarter to 1.23 billion and the operation had an operating loss of 30 million, vs. operating income of 10 million a year earlier. The company said the decline was primarily due to a decrease in domestic syndication due to the prior-year sales of "According to Jim" and "Scrubs" and higher costs at the Internet Group, including costs associated with the shutdown of the Disney-branded mobile phone service.

Like all other TV groups, the ABC O&O stations have been affected by the lack of political advertising compared to last year. In the Q&A with analysts, CFO Tom Staggs said the political drop off accounted for pretty much all of a 4% decline in quarterly ad revenues for the TV station group. He added that, for the same reason, pacings in the current quarter are down "in the neighborhood of 7%."