Looks like another strong quarter from The Walt Disney Company as they just reported their Q1 earnings for the first fiscal quarter that ended December 27, 2014. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) for the first quarter increased 23% to $1.27 from $1.03 in the prior-year quarter despite some natural headwinds like Big Hero 6 not performing at the box office quite like that other really cold movie that sent everyone into a fever and the continued pinching of ESPN due to higher programming and production costs and lower advertising revenues as more consumers “cut the cord” and switch from cable to other non-traditional forms of media. Still ESPN was able to offset that partially through higher affiliate fees via contractual rate increases and for its part, Big Hero 6 is still performing well especially in Japan where it continues to hold the top box office spot, despite not attaining the meteoric levels of “Frozen.”
If there is one message that the Walt Disney Company is clearly driving home its that franchises provide growth and Disney continues to have the levers in place to keep cranking them out.
This was yet another incredibly strong quarter for our Company, with diluted EPS up 23% driven by record revenue as well as significant growth in segment operating income,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company. “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.
Parks and Resorts revenues for the quarter increased 9% to $3.9 billion and operating income increased 20% to $805 million. Operating income growth for the quarter was primarily driven by an increases at Disneyland Resort California and Walt Disney World. This was due to higher attendance and higher guest spending. Hotel occupancy at domestic resorts is approaching 89% which is historically the reasonable maximum occupancy at resorts.
The CEO of the Walt Disney Company also had plenty of things to share in regards Shanghai Disneyland, Star Wars coming to Disney Parks, Walt Disney Studios’ animated short, “Frozen Fever,” and even interesting comments on the previously acquired Maker Studios and their new deal with Dish Networks’ Sling TV offering. Stay tuned to Da Mouse for more coverage.