Mouse misery: Disney income drops

Photo by John Schreiber.

Disneyland may not be the “happiest place on earth” Thursday after the Walt Disney Co. reported an income decline for the last quarter and the entire past fiscal year.

Income dropped 1 percent compared to the same quarter the prior year along with a 4 percent year-over-year net income dip for 2017.

“No other entertainment company is better equipped to navigate the ever- evolving media landscape, thank to our unparalleled collection of brands and franchises and our ability to leverage IP across our entire company,” Disney CEO Robert Iger said. “We look forward to launching our first direct-to- consumer streaming service in the new year, and we will continue to invest for the future and take the smart risks required to deliver shareholder value.”

Diluted earnings per share were $1.13 for the fourth quarter, up 3 percent over the fourth quarter of 2016. For the 2017 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, the company reported diluted earnings per share of $5.69, down 1 percent from the previous year.

The company’s Media Networks division showed a 12 percent drop in operating income in the fourth quarter, and an 11 percent drop for the fiscal year. Studio entertainment operating income dropped 43 percent for the quarter, and 13 percent for the year.

The company noted that a $15 million drop in operating income at its cable networks was partly attributable to a drop in advertising revenue and viewership at Freeform. It also reported generally steady performance by ESPN, with increased programming costs and low ad revenue offset by revenue from affiliates.

— Staff and wire reports