Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday its fiscal second quarter profit rose 55 percent aided by strong box-office receipts from “Alice in Wonderland.” The results exceeded Wall Street expectations.

After the market closed, the Burbank entertainment giant reported net income of $953 million (48 cents a share) for the quarter ended April 3, compared with $613 million (33 cents) a year earlier. (The same quarter in 2009 included restructuring and impairment charges that had a 10 cent per impact on share prices.)

Sales rose 6 percent to $8.58 billion, boosted by nearly $1 billion in box-office receipts from "Alice." Studio revenue for the quarter rose 7 percent to $1.5 billion, with operating income up 6 percent to $223 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial on average had expected adjusted per-share profit of 46 cents on sales of $8.39 billion.

“The incredible box office performance of (Alice) and acquisition of Marvel, whose “Iron Man 2” has grossed $334 million in global box office in its first two weeks, clearly show the benefits of investing in high quality branded content,” said Executive Robert Iger said in a statement.

Operating income at the company’s cable networks rose 2.4 percent to $1.2 billion. Parks and resorts income fell 12 percent to $150 million.

Shares were down 19 cents or less than 1 percent, to $35.57 in Wednesday midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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