The Walt Disney Company Beats Analyst Expectations; Parks, Experiences and Products Segment Sees Massive Operating Income Growth

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The Walt Disney Company has announced its Q4 results, officially closing out the 2019 fiscal year. A $1.07 EPS beat analyst expectations of $0.95 with revenues of $19.1 billion vs. $19.05 billion expected.

Disney shares jumped by 4.56% to $139.19 a share after the Q4 results announcement. Most significant was the staggering 17% increase in operating income for the Parks, Experiences and Products segment, despite only an 8% growth in revenues.

Higher operating income at the merchandise licensing business was due to an increase in revenue from sales of merchandise based on Frozen and Toy Story, partially offset by lower sales of merchandise based on Mickey and Minnie. Growth at Disneyland Resort was primarily due to higher guest spending, partially offset by expenses associated with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which opened on May 31, and, to a lesser extent, lower attendance. Guest spending growth was primarily due to increases in average ticket prices and higher food, beverage, and merchandise spending.

The increase in operating income at Disney Vacation Club was due to higher sales at Disney’s Riviera Resort in the current quarter, which included a timing benefit from the adoption of new revenue recognition accounting guidance, compared to sales of Copper Creek Villas & Cabins in the prior-year quarter.

Results at Walt Disney World Resort were comparable to the prior-year quarter, despite the adverse impact of Hurricane Dorian in the current quarter. Increases in guest spending and, to a lesser extent, occupied room nights and attendance were offset by higher costs. Higher costs were driven by costs associated with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which opened on August 29 and cost inflation. Guest spending growth was primarily due to increased food, beverage, and merchandise spending and higher average ticket prices.

Internationally, Hong Kong Disneyland hindered results due to ongoing tensions in the region that has reduced visitation, especially from mainland China. In Q1 2020, Disney expects an $80 million hit to performance due to tensions and up to $275 million for FY 2020 if trends continue.

Across the company, Media Networks revenues increased to $6,510 from $5,325, representing a 22% growth. Operating Income decreased from $1,783 to $1,842 a 3% downturn.

Studio Entertainment saw revenues grow by 22% to $6,510 from $5,325. A 79% increase in operating income was seen for Studio Entertainment to $1,079 from $604.

Over at the Direct-to-Consumer segment, revenues skyrocketed from $825 to $3,428. Operating Income decreased from ($340 million) to ($740 million) however.

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Derek Sterling

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