Wall Street analysts praised Walt Disney’s quarterly results, which topped Wall Street’s expectations after blockbuster movies such as Marvel’s “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War” fueled gains in revenue and profit.
On a call with analysts Tuesday, Disney CEO Bob Iger said, “with more than $1.3 billion in box office to date, ‘Black Panther’ makes a very loud statement about the importance of risk-taking and the value of inclusion. We’re proud of this movie on so many levels. It speaks volumes about great innovative storytelling, the power of new perspectives and unbridled creativity.”
With “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” Iger said the Disney studio has delivered nine of the top 10 biggest domestic box-office openings of all time, all of them released in the last six years.
Many analysts characterized the strong box-office results as a budding opportunity for the company, while others said the media and entertainment giant “fired on all cylinders.”
Disney posted fiscal second-quarter earnings per share of $1.84 adjusted (versus $1.70 expected) and revenue of $14.55 billion (versus $14.11 billion expected).
Here’s what Wall Street’s analysts wrote about Disney’s results:
“The results showcase the strong profit growth potential of Disney’s intellectual property-driven segments (Film, Parks) as well as highlight notable improvement at core Media Networks despite some modest dilution from over-the-top investments. Parks and Film led second fiscal quarter segment operating income growth well ahead of expectations. Media Nets revenues accelerated, with subscriber trends moving in the right direction and broadcast ad sales better than feared.”
“Disney continues to execute, with FQ2 beating everywhere but Consumer Products. The highlight was clearly ‘Black Panther,’ but Parks and Media Networks weren’t too shabby. We do think the “incremental $50 million” of investment spend at BAMTech is taking away from what we consider to be a really nice print – we are raising our full year F’18E EPS estimate to $7.08 from $6.97. We reiterate our Outperform and $135 price target.”
“Disney’s outlook for the year improves based on a F2Q18 beat which was driven by continued momentum at the Studio and by the Parks & Resorts division, which continues to be a juggernaut. While a few factors which could lead to near-term pressures at the Media Networks segment, today’s earnings release showed a number of encouraging trends across most of the company’s businesses … attendance spending and margin trends at the Parks & Resorts continued to outpace our expectations; Black Panther put Studio Entertainment up solidly in the double-digits on both revenue and operating income.”
“Disney posted its cleanest quarter in a while with strong growth across the key business segments. However, with the headlines around the potential looming Comcast offer for FOX, the stock appears to be in a holding pattern, with the market focusing on game theory rather than fundamentals.”
“Disney delivered a strong quarter coming better than expectations across almost all segments on both revenues and operating income. The only exception to this was consumer product, which has now been coming in below expectations almost every quarter for the last couple of years.The biggest portion of the beat on operating income and revenue came from studio followed by parks. These have been consistent outperformers for Disney over the last few years and given the slate in 2018 and beyond, as well as the all-time high margins at Parks, this outperformance appears set to continue.”
RBC Capital Markets
“F2Q18 results fired on all cylinders. Disney is making huge strategic investments while growing at a strong clip. M&A uncertainty is much ado about the short-term … About as pretty a quarter as they get … Revenues of $14.55 billion were 3 percent ahead with Parks and Studio as the biggest contributors to upside. Segment operating income of $4.24 billion was an impressive 11 percent ahead of the street. Media Networks had a good quarter, Parks had a great quarter and Studio had a stellar quarter. ESPN also had another quarter of modest improvement in sub declines. Sounds good, no?”
— CNBC’s Michael Bloom and Christine Wang contributed to this report.