The Walt Disney Company stock closed for the day at $144.73 a share before reporting their earnings for the first quarter (Q1) of fiscal year 2020 which ended on December 28, 2019. According to Bob Iger, the first quarter was highlighted by the launch of Disney+ which exceeded the company’s expectations. As of this Monday, there are over 28.6 million Disney+ subscribers.
“We had a strong first quarter, highlighted by the launch of Disney+, which has exceeded even our greatest expectations,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.
“Thanks to our incredible collection of brands, outstanding content from our creative engines and state-of-the-art technology, we believe our direct-to-consumer services, including Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu, position us well for continued growth in today’s dynamic media environment.”
Diluted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations for the quarter decreased 37% to $1.17 from $1.86 in the prior-year quarter. Excluding certain items affecting comparability , diluted EPS for the quarter decreased 17% to $1.53 from $1.84 in the prior-year quarter.
The Parks, Experiences and Products segment (which includes Disney Cruise Line) saw revenues for the quarter increased 8% to $7.4 billion, and segment operating income increased 9% to $2.3 billion. Operating income growth for the quarter was due to increases at merchandise licensing and domestic parks and resorts, partially offset by lower results at Disney’s international parks and resorts.
Higher merchandise licensing results were due to an increase in revenue from sales of merchandise based on Frozen, Star Wars and Toy Story, partially offset by lower sales of merchandise based on Mickey and Minnie.
Growth at Disney’s domestic parks and resorts was due to higher guest spending and, to a lesser extent, increased attendance, partially offset by higher costs. Guest spending growth was primarily due to higher average ticket prices and an increase in food, beverage and merchandise spending. Higher costs were due to new guest offerings, driven by Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and the impact of wage increases for union employees.
The decrease in operating income at Disney’s international parks and resorts was due to lower results at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, partially offset by growth at Shanghai Disney Resort. Lower results at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort were due to decreases in attendance and occupied room nights reflecting the impact of recent events. At Shanghai Disney Resort, higher operating income was driven by an increase in attendance.
There was no specific mention of Disney Cruise Line in the press release. We will update this post if we hear anything during the earnings call and Q&A.
The call did touch on the coronavirus which has led Disney to close Shanghai Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland. Disney says this could result in a $135 million and $40 million loss for Q2-2020 respectively based on The Walt Disney Company’s estimate of a 2-month closure at each.
For more information and an overall report click over to the Q1-2020 Earnings Report.