The financial bonanza to Walt Disney Co. from its blockbuster animated hit “Frozen” appears not to be melting anytime soon.
Strong sales of “Frozen” merchandise contributed to the Burbank entertainment and media giant well outpacing analyst earnings’ estimates in its fiscal first quarter.
Disney reported net income of $2.2 billion ($1.27 a share) for the quarter ended Dec. 27, compared with $1.8 billion ($1.03) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue increased 9 percent to $13.4 billion.
Analysts on average expected net income of $1.07 a share on revenue of $12.9 billion, according to Thomson Financial Network.
Consumer products had the strongest showing of five business segments, with revenue of $1.4 billion, or a 22 percent increase from the prior year. The company credited the sales and licensing of “Frozen” merchandise.
Studio entertainment dropped 2 percent to $1.9 billion as box office results for the animated movie “Big Hero 6” did not match those with “Frozen” from the same period a year earlier. Home entertainment was strong on sales of “Frozen” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Media networks revenue increased 11 percent to $5.9 billion while parks and resorts increased 9 percent to $3.4 billion. The interactive segment dropped 5 percent to $384 million as sales slowed for its console games.
“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,” said Chief Executive Robert Iger in a prepared statement.
Disney did however have to contend with some negative news when the Wall Street Journal reported that its $5.5 billion Shanghai Disneyland theme park scheduled to open this year will now likely open in the first half of 2016. The reasons for the delay was not made clear.
Shares closed up $2.17, or more than 2 percent, to $94.10 on the New York Stock Exchange. Strong trading continued after hours with shares up more than 3 percent to $97.15.
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