In an appearance on Fox Business Network, Walt Disney honcho Robert Iger brushed off comments by Wall Street analysts who suggested his company missed revenue targets, saying his staff was in a better position to make those predications and was pretty much on target.
Asked about the prognosticators by FBN’s Melissa Francis, Iger said, “Well, it’s hard for me to comment on the street’s expectations. That’s not how we manage the company. We have an ability to predict what our — both our revenue and our bottom line is likely to look like. Frequently the street does not. And their estimates this time around, in terms of our revenue, happen to have been off.”
He said one thing that damaged cable results was a simple matter of timing – he tied it to a complicated issue involving deferral affiliate fees for ESPN, which came in during a different reporting period year over year. While it made a dent in the current fiscal Q3 revenue results, it will have no effect whatsoever on the total yearly results.
Iger noted that Disney’s theme parks did well in the face of continued consumer wariness. He noted that a lot of purchases are being put off; at the same time, he speculated that what purchases are being made are based on a careful consumer cost/benefit analysis. He suggested that a trip to a Disney park or on a Disney cruise is seen as an almost guaranteed good vacation experience, allowing his company to buck that particular trend.
On the issue of corporate taxes, Iger said they are simply too high. They make it difficult for American companies to compete globally, as well as discouraging some companies to make their home in America.
“We’re not looking for corporations to get off lightly,” said Iger. “We’re looking for corporations to be taxed fairly. There are a number of corporations that do get off lightly because they take advantage of loopholes that we believe should be closed. So what we’re basically saying is not necessarily lower corporate taxes overall, but change the system so that the basic blended number is lower. You have a lower percentage being paid of corporate taxes.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Iger’s tax suggestion is interesting. You would think that a comprehensive corporate tax overhaul that lowers the base rate but is nevertheless revenue neutral because it takes away the possibility of gaming the system down to a tax bill of $0.00 would be able to accumulate bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.
That, of course, does not take into account the possible existence of members of Congress who simply want to reduce the amount of revenue flowing into the government, period.
It also does not take into account the tidal wave of amendments that would attach themselves like barnacles to any such bill in order to protect or create loopholes for corporations based in a politician’s state or congressional district.
The cynical view is that Iger’s proposal just might make sense – but that will in no way improve its prospects of getting anywhere in Washington.