The Walt Disney Company stock closed for the day at $116.00 a share before reporting their earnings for the fourth quarter (Q4) and the full fiscal year 2018 which ended on September 29, 2018.
“We’re very pleased with our financial performance in fiscal 2018, delivering record revenue, net income and earnings per share,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We remain focused on the successful completion and integration of our 21st Century Fox acquisition and the further development of our direct-to-consumer business, including the highly anticipated launch of our Disney-branded streaming service late next year.”
Diluted earnings per share (EPS) for the fourth quarter increased 37% to $1.55 from $1.13 in the prior-year quarter. Excluding certain items affecting comparability, EPS for the quarter increased 38% to $1.48 from $1.07 in the prior-year quarter. EPS for the year increased to $8.36 from $5.69 in the prior year. Excluding certain items affecting comparability, EPS for the year increased to $7.08 from $5.70 in the prior year.
Parks and Resorts revenues for the quarter increased 9% to $5.1 billion, and segment operating income increased 11% to $829 million. Operating income growth for the quarter was due to an increase at our domestic operations. Domestic results reflected the comparison to the adverse impact of Hurricane Irma, which occurred in the prior-year quarter.
Higher operating income at the domestic operations was primarily due to increased guest spending and attendance, partially offset by increased costs. Guest spending growth was due to increases in average ticket prices for theme park admissions and cruise line sailings, food, beverage and merchandise spending and average daily hotel room rates. The increase in costs was primarily due to labor and other cost inflation, a special fiscal 2018 domestic employee bonus and higher charges for project abandonments.
Operating income at Disney’s international parks and resorts was comparable to the prior-year quarter as growth at Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort was offset by a decrease at Shanghai Disney Resort. Operating income growth at Disneyland Paris was due to an increase in average ticket prices while growth at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort was due to higher occupied room nights and attendance growth, partially offset by cost inflation. The decrease at Shanghai Disney Resort was due to lower average ticket prices, partially offset by increased attendance.
For the year, the increase in diluted EPS was due to a lower effective income tax rate, higher segment operating income, a decrease in weighted average shares outstanding as a result of our share repurchase program and the benefit from gains on the sale of real estate. These increases were partially offset by the comparison to a non-cash net gain in connection with the acquisition of a controlling interest in BAMTech, LLC (BAMTech) in the prior year, impairments of our equity investments in Vice Group Holding, Inc. (Vice) and Villages Nature in the current year and higher net interest and corporate and unallocated shared expenses.
The decrease in the effective income tax rate was due to the impact of the Tax Act, which included:
- A net benefit of $1.7 billion, which reflected a $2.1 billion benefit from remeasuring our deferred tax balances to the new statutory rate (Deferred Remeasurement), partially offset by a charge of $0.4 billion for a one-time tax on certain accumulated foreign earnings (Deemed Repatriation Tax).
- A reduction of the Company’s fiscal 2018 U.S. statutory federal income tax rate to 24.5% from 35.0% in the prior year, which resulted in a net benefit of approximately $1.2 billion.
Higher segment operating income was due to increases at Parks and Resorts and Studio Entertainment, partially offset by decreases at Media Networks and Consumer Products & Interactive Media. The increase at Parks and Resorts was due to growth at both our domestic and international operations. The increase at our domestic operations was due to higher guest spending and volumes, partially offset by cost inflation, higher technology and operations support expenses and a special fiscal 2018 domestic employee bonus. In addition, results reflected the comparison to the negative prior-year impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Matthew. Internationally, the increase was due to higher guest spending and volumes at both Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. The increase at Studio Entertainment was due to the exceptional performance of our theatrical releases driven by Black Panther, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Avengers: Infinity War and Incredibles 2. The decrease at Media Networks was due to lower advertising revenue, higher losses from Hulu LLC (Hulu) and BAMTech and contractual rate increases for sports programming. These decreases were partially offset by higher affiliate revenues and an increase in income from program sales. The decrease at Consumer Products & Interactive Media was primarily due to lower income from licensing activities and a decrease in comparable store sales at our retail business.
The increase in net interest expense was due to an increase in average interest rates, higher average debt balances and financing costs related to the pending Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (21CF) acquisition. Higher corporate and unallocated shared expenses were due to costs incurred in connection with the 21CF acquisition and higher compensation costs.
For more information and an overall report click over to the Q4-2018 Earnings Report.