Send me real-time posts from this site at my email
Motley Fool

Disney's Q4 Earnings Delight Investors; Stock Pops Nearly 4% on Friday

Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) reported its fiscal fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 results after the market closed on Thursday. For the quarter, the entertainment titan's revenue jumped 34% and its adjusted earnings per share (EPS) declined 28% year over year.

The company's iconic movie studio business was the star of the quarter, with parks turning in a fine supporting performance. Its Twenty-First Century Fox (21CF) acquisition, which closed in March, added considerably to the top line but also negatively impacted profits due to integration-related costs.

Disney stock closed up 3.8% on Friday. We can attribute the market's delight largely to earnings soundly beating Wall Street's consensus estimate. Shares of the consumer discretion company also likely got a boost from management's upbeat comments on the earnings call about the Disney+ streaming service, slated to launch in the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands on Nov. 12. In 2019, shares have returned 26.6%, edging out the S&P 500's 25.5% return.

Image source: Disney.

Disney's key numbers

Metric

Fiscal Q4 2019

Fiscal Q4 2018

Change

Revenue

$19.10 billion

$14.31 billion

34%

Segment operating income

$3.44 billion

$3.28 billion

5%

GAAP net income

$785 million

$2.32 billion

(66%)

GAAP earnings per share (EPS)

$0.43

$1.55

(72%)

Adjusted EPS

$1.07

$1.48

(28%)

Data source: Disney. GAAP = generally accepted accounting principles.

Wall Street was looking for adjusted EPS of $0.95 on revenue of $90.04 billion. So the House of Mouse breezed by the profit expectation and slightly beat the top-line estimate.

For fiscal year 2019, Disney's revenue rose 17% year over year to $69.57 billion, segment operating income dropped 5% to $14.87 billion, and adjusted EPS fell 19% to $5.77.

Media networks: Operating profit slid

Metric

Fiscal Q4 2019

Change (YOY)

Revenue

$6.51 billion

22%

Operating income

$1.78 billion

(3%)

Data source: Disney. YOY = year over year.

Here's how the two businesses within this segment performed:

  • Cable networks revenue climbed 20% year over year to $4.24 billion, and operating income edged down 1% to $1.26 billion.
  • Broadcasting revenue jumped 26% to $2.27 billion, and operating income fell 4% to $377 million. (Segment operating income also received a lift of $150 million from equity in the income of investees, down 13% from the year-ago quarter.)

"Lower cable results reflect a decrease at ESPN, partially offset by the consolidation of the 21CF cable businesses," CFO Christine McCarthy said on the earnings call. Broadcasting's results were negatively affected by lower program sales compared to last year.

Parks, experiences, and consumer products: Parks got their mojo back!

Metric

Fiscal Q4 2019

Change (YOY)

Revenue

$6.66 billion

8%

Operating income

$1.38 billion

17%

Data source: Disney.

The consumer products business continued its robust performance. Operating income was up 36% year over year, driven by "growth in merchandise licensing, as a result of strong revenue growth from sales of Frozen and Toy Story merchandise," McCarthy said on the call.

After last quarter's rare stumble, the domestic parks and experiences business returned to its usual solid-grower self, with operating income up 13%, driven by "growth at Disneyland on higher guest spending and an increase at Disney Vacation Club," McCarthy added. Results at Disney World were flat with the year-ago period, as "increases in guest spending, occupied room nights and attendance were offset by higher costs associated with the launch of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge," she continued. Galaxy's Edge opened in late August at Disney World.

Overall attendance at domestic parks was flat with the fourth quarter of last year, though it was up about 1% if we exclude the impact of Hurricane Dorian, which resulted in the Florida parks closing early on Sept. 3.

Studio entertainment: The quarter's star

Metric

Fiscal Q4 2019

Change (YOY)

Revenue

$3.31 billion

52%

Operating income

$1.08 million

79%

Data source: Disney.

Studio's powerful operating income growth was driven by the theatrical performances of The Lion King, Toy Story 4, and Aladdin performing better in the quarter than Incredibles 2, Ant-Man, and The Wasp did in the year-ago period.

As with last quarter, Disney's legacy studio business performed even better than the segment's results suggest, as the performance of Fox studio's releases dragged down the overall numbers. On the earnings call, McCarthy said that the Fox studio had an operating loss of about $120 million.

DTC and international: Loss widens on spending to build streaming business

Metric

Fiscal Q4 2019

Change (YOY)

Revenue

$3.43 billion

316%

Operating income

($740 million)

N/A -- Down $400 million from a loss of $340 million in Q4 2018.

Data source: Disney.

Disney is investing heavily in its direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming business, which is driving losses. This business is comprised of sports-focused ESPN+, which launched in April 2018, and the broader streaming service, Disney+, which is scheduled to roll out in the U.S., Canada, and the Netherlands on Nov. 12, followed by Australia and New Zealand on Nov. 19.

A robust quarter with a huge catalyst for growth almost here

Disney turned in a great quarter, though that might not be obvious from the headline numbers due to the hefty costs associated with the Fox acquisition and the heavy spending in advance of the launch of Disney+.

10 stocks we like better than Walt Disney
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has quadrupled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Walt Disney wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks

*Stock Advisor returns as of June 1, 2019

Beth McKenna has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short January 2020 $130 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Source

Popular posts

Welcome!!! Is it your First time here?

What are you looking for? Select your points of interest to improve your first-time experience:

Apply & Continue