Walt Disney Co. Theme Parks Are Bright Spot In Slow Q1

The Walt Disney Co.'s (NYSE: DIS) theme-park business was a bright spot for the media giant's fiscal first quarter. In fact, it was Disney's sole segment that reported positive revenue, according to the Feb. 7 earnings report.

Parks and resorts reported a 6 percent increase in revenue to $4.6 billion in Disney's fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 31, 2016, which compared with $4.2 billion for the first three months of its fiscal 2016 ended Jan. 2, 2016. Disney is the parent company of Walt Disney World in Orlando.

In addition, first-quarter operating income went up 13 percent to $1.1 billion from $981 million reported for the same period in the last fiscal year.

Disney also had dips in both attendance and occupied room nights for the start of the fiscal year, but those costs were offset by guest spending increases.

"The growth in the quarter was unfavorably impacted by Hurricane Matthew at our domestic operations and a shift in the timing of the New Year’s holiday relative to our fiscal periods," said Disney's financial report.

Costs to theme parks — most likely investments of new attractions like the Star Wars expansion to Disney's Hollywood Studios— were flat with labor and cost inflations offset by cost-efficiency initiatives.

“We’re very pleased with our financial performance in the first quarter," said Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger in a prepared statement. "Our Parks and Resorts delivered excellent results and, coming off a record year, our studio had three global hits, including our first billion-dollar film of fiscal 2017, 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.'

"With our proven strategy and unparalleled collection of brands and franchises, we are extremely confident in our ability to continue to drive significant value over the long term.”

Disney's overall company revenue for the first quarter was $14.7 billion, down 3 percent from $15.2 billion in the prior-year quarter. Net income for the company fell 14 percent to $2.47 billion from $2.88 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2016.

Check Disney's investor site for more details on the first quarter results.

Source: Orlando Sentinel