Walt Disney Co. late Thursday said its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings fell 7 percent, mainly due to accounting issues. Per-share earnings missed Wall Street expectations by a penny.
The Burbank entertainment giant reported net income of $835 million (43 cents per share), compared with net income of $895 million (47 cents) a year earlier,
Revenue fell 1 percent to $9.74 billion. The quarter was affected by a shift of some ESPN revenue to the third quarter, and a shorter fourth quarter than a year earlier. Studio revenue, boosted by international ticket sales of "Toy Story 3," was up 6 percent. Parks and resorts revenue was down 1 percent.
Discounting one-time items, adjusted per-share profit was 45 cents, lower than the 46 cents consensus forecast of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
But on Friday, several analysts defended Disney's performance, causing the stock to rise. Among them was Michael Nathanson of Nomura Securities maintained his "buy" rating on the stock and lifted his 12-month price target to $43 from $40.50.
Per-share profit for the full year rose 15 percent to $2.03, and Chief Executive Robert Iger was upbeat about the company’s overall performance.
“The 2010 fiscal year was a financial and strategic success for the Walt Disney Co. with performance driven by great content like “Toy Story 3,” and the way we benefited from that content across our many businesses,” Iger said in a statement. “With the acquisition of Marvel, our brand and franchise portfolio is stronger than ever, and we’re confident our global growth strategy positions the company well to thrive in the coming years.”
Shares on Friday rose $1.82, or 5 percent to $37.75 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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