Walt Disney Co. beat Wall Street expectations on adjusted earnings and matched on revenue for the fiscal first quarter.
The Burbank entertainment and media giant reported on Tuesday adjusted net income of $2.1 billion ($1.53 a share) for the quarter ending Dec. 28, compared to adjusted net income of $2.8 billion ($1.84) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue increased 36 percent to $20.8 billion.
Analysts on average expected earnings of $1.44 on revenue of $20.8 billion, according to Thomson Financial Network.
Of the four business units, filmed entertainment was among the best during the quarter, with two hit films in “Frozen II” and “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker,” both of which crossed the $1 billion threshold in worldwide box office receipts. The division had revenue of $3.8 billion in the first quarter, compared to $1.8 billion in the same period a year ago.
Also doing well was the direct-to-consumer/international business unit, on the strength of the launch of streaming service Disney+. The service brought in 26.5 million subscribers in the first quarter. The division’s revenue in the quarter was $4 billion, compared to $900 million in the prior year.
Chief Executive Robert Iger said the launch of Disney+ in November exceeded the company’s expectations.
“Thanks to our incredible collection of brands, outstanding content from our creative engines and state-of-the-art technology, we believe our direct-to-consumer services, including Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu position us well for continued growth in today’s dynamic media environment,” Iger said in a statement.
Shares of Disney (DIS) closed up $3.41, or more than 2 percent, to $144.73 on the New York Stock Exchange.