Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday said its third-quarter profit jumped 41 percent, fueled by rising revenues at its Media Networks and Parks and Resorts units.
The Burbank-based media company reported net income of $851 million (41 cents per diluted share) for the third quarter ended July 2, compared with $604 million (29 cents) for the like period a year earlier. Revenue rose 3 percent to $7.7 billion from $7.5 billion in the comparable period of the prior year.
The results were above the median estimates of Wall Street analysts, who had forecast earnings of 38 cents per share on revenue of $7.9 billion.
Second-quarter earnings included a $26 million gain on the sale of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, a $32 million charge for a cable television investment in Latin America and a $24 million write-down related to Disney's MovieBeam venture, a service that delivers digital video files via a set-top box. These items reduced net income by 1 cent per share.
Second-quarter profit was driven by growth at Disney's Media Networks unit, whose revenue rose 16 percent to $3.4 billion from the year-earlier period, and its Parks and Resorts unit, which increased 7 percent to $2.4 billion.
Media Networks revenues were boosted by growth at Disney's ESPN subsidiary, higher television affiliate revenues and improved performance at its ABC Television Network, which sustained lower programming costs, higher advertising rates and improved ratings.
Parks and Resorts revenues were bolstered by higher ticket prices and increased attendance from the 50th anniversary celebration at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.
The growth was partially offset by revenue decreases at Disney's Studio Entertainment and Consumer Products units. Studio Entertainment revenue for the quarter fell 15 percent to $1.5 billion due to a drop in worldwide home video sales, while the unit's motion picture and television distribution segments improved. Consumer Products revenues slipped 23 percent to $418 million as a result of the sale of the Disney Store North America enterprise in November 2004.
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