Disney beats on earnings and revenue

Disney on Wednesday reported third-quarter earnings that were better than Wall Street expected on the top and bottom lines.

The company reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.62 and revenue totaling $14.3 billion.

Analysts had forecast that Disney earned $1.61 in adjusted EPS and revenue of $14.16 billion.

Disney also announced it bought a minority stake in Bamtech, a video-streaming company previously formed by Major League Baseball, for $1 billion.

It will pay in two installments and has the option to buy majority ownership in the coming years.

In the second quarter, Disney’s profits missed Wall Street’s expectations for the first time in five years.

Ad revenues from ESPN fell during the quarter, and the sports network again lost subscribers. But its programming costs were less, helping to boost overall cable revenues.

It was about a year ago that Disney CEO Bob Iger said ESPN had suffered subscriber losses, and put up a long defence of the network during the quarterly conference call with analysts.

During the forthcoming call, analysts will be listening for whether cable revenues got a boost from the NBA finals.

They will also be listening for updates on attendance at the recently opened Shanghai Disneyland.

Disney shares have fallen 8% this year.

More to come …

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