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Disney jumps 7% after earnings beat reveals record theme park demand and surge in steaming subscribers

Walt Disney World.

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service/Getty Images

  • Disney jumped 7% on Thursday after its first-quarter earnings report showed record revenue at its theme parks.
  • The company also added nearly 12 million new subscribers to its Disney+ streaming platform.
  • CEO Bob Chapek said he expects Disney+ to hit up to 260 million subscribers by 2024.

 

Disney stock surged 7% on Thursday after the company’s fiscal first-quarter earnings report beat expectations and revealed strong demand for its theme parks and video streaming platform.

The media and entertainment conglomerate said it generated record revenue at its theme parks in the quarter, and that it added nearly 12 million subscribers to its Disney+ streaming platform, in part driven by the massive success of “Encanto.”

Here were the key numbers:

Revenue: $21.8 billion, versus analyst estimates of $21.0 billion
Adjusted earnings per share: $1.06, versus analyst estimates of $0.63
Disney+ Subscriber Additions: 11.8 million, versus analyst estimates of 7 million

Much of Disney’s revenue and earnings beat came from its parks and products division, with $7.2 billion in revenue besting analyst estimates by more than $1 billion. The company’s park divisions even bested pre-pandemic revenue record in the quarter.

Meanwhile, the Disney+ streaming platform expanded its subscriber base to 130 million. CEO Bob Chapek reaffirmed guidance that it will have 230 million to 260 million subscribers by 2024. If the company manages to reach that goal, its size would rival Netflix, which had about 222 million subscribers as of January.

Across its streaming portfolio, which includes ESPN+ and Hulu, Disney hit a total of 196.4 million subscribers.

While Disney’s streaming subscription business continues to grow at a rapid clip, it is still losing money. Streaming revenue surged 34% to $4.7 billion in the first quarter, but operating losses deepened 27% to $600 million.

Chapek said the streaming business is always hungry for more content, and that the company will increase its content spending over time. He also said that it is bidding for NFL Sunday Ticket as it seeks to boost its offering of live sports.

“We’ve had a very strong start to the fiscal year, with a significant rise in earnings per share, record revenue and operating income at our domestic parks and resorts, the launch of a new franchise with Encanto, and a significant increase in total subscriptions across our streaming portfolio,” Chapek said.

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