Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Powered in part by the strength of “Frozen” merchandise sales, the Walt Disney Co. reported record quarterly earnings Tuesday of $1.27 per share, up 23 percent from $1.03 per share in the same quarter the previous year.

Wall Street analysts had predicted first-quarter earnings of $1.08 per share.

Revenue from all operations totaled nearly $13.4 billion, which beat expectations pegged at $12.9 billion.

“This was yet another incredibly strong quarter for our company, with diluted (earnings per share) up 23 percent, driven by record revenue as well as significant growth in segment operating income,” Disney Chairman/CEO Robert Iger said. “Our results once again reflect the strength of our brands and high- quality content and demonstrate that our proven franchise strategy creates long- term value across all of our businesses.”     The company reported a 35 percent jump in operating income in its broadcasting sector, as well as jumps in its parks and resorts sector, studio entertainment and consumer products.

“The increase in operating income at Merchandise Licensing was due to the performance of merchandise based on ‘Frozen’ and, to a lesser extent, Disney Channel properties, Mickey and Minnie, ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘Avengers,”‘ according to the company.

The Merchandise Licensing segment performance contributed to a 46 percent jump in consumer products.

“At our retail business, higher operating income for the quarter was due to comparable store sales growth and higher online sales in all regions driven by sales of ‘Frozen’ merchandise,” according to Disney.

The company noted a drop in results for its theatrical distribution — with “Big Hero 6” unable to match the blockbuster performance of “Frozen” in the same quarter a year earlier.

City News Service

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