Disney Shares Surge To New Highs After Streaming Subs, Earnings Beat... There's Just One Thing

Despite the company’s theme parks in California having been shuttered for almost a year, Disney (DIS) managed strong performance across the board in Q1 with a surprise profit.

Top- and Bottom-line beat...

  • Disney 1Q Rev. $16.25B, Est. $15.91B
  • Disney 1Q Adj EPS 32c, Est. Loss/Shr 38c

But all eyes were focused on streaming subs, which also beat...

  • Disney 1Q Disney+ Subscribers 94.9M, Est. 90.7M
  • 1Q ESPN+ Subscribers 12.1M, Est. 11.5M
  • 1Q Total Hulu Subscribers 39.4M, Est. 38.4M

“We’re confident that, with our robust pipeline of exceptional, high-quality content and the upcoming launch of our new Star- branded international general entertainment offering, we are well-positioned to achieve even greater success going forward,” Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, said.

Not entirely surprising, given the impact of COVID, all the line-items are down from pre-COVID still...

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So Parks, Experience, and Products revenue down 53% YoY, yet streaming is saving the day as usual recently...

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Its theme parks took a $2.6 billion hit in the quarter, and the company said overall sales declined 22%.

“Since late in the second quarter of fiscal 2020 and continuing into fiscal 2021, covid-19 and measures to prevent its spread have impacted our segments in a number of ways, most significantly at Disney parks, experiences and products.

“In the current quarter, our theme parks were closed or operating at significantly reduced capacity and cruise ship sailings and guided tours were suspended.”

Streaming revenue at $35BN was up 73%, resulting in $0.5BN loss, half of what it was a year earlier

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Direct-to-Consumer revenues for the quarter increased 73% to $3.5 billion and operating loss decreased from $1.1 billion to $466 million.

  • The decrease in operating loss was due to improved results at Hulu, and to a lesser extent, at Disney+ and ESPN+.

  • The increase at Hulu was due to subscriber growth and increased advertising revenues driven by higher impressions, partially offset by an increase in programming and production costs due to higher subscriber-based fees for programming the live television service.

  • The improvement at Disney+ was driven by an increase in subscribers, partially offset by higher programming and production cost amortization and increased marketing and technology costs. The increases in subscribers and costs reflected the ongoing expansion of Disney+ including launching in additional markets. The current quarter included three months of Disney+ operations whereas the prior-year quarter included two months.

  • Higher results at ESPN+ were driven by subscriber growth, partially offset by higher sports programming costs.

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