Disney Takes Q3 Dip

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The Walt Disney Co. struggled through another tough quarter, as declines across the board drove revenue down 7% to $8.6 billion and segment operating income plunged 20% to $1.8 billion for the period ended June 30. .
On a conference call with analysts Thursday, CEO Bob Iger said that while he was pleased with the performance in light of the overall economic downturn, he was cautiously optimistic
"We do see signs of economic stability, but the pace remains uncertain and we are managing accordingly," Iger said on a conference call with analysts.
While each of Disney's business segment reported declines, media networks - which includes the ABC broadcasting unit and cable networks the Disney Channel, ABC Family and ESPN - fared the best, with revenue down just 2%, while segment operating income dipped 13% for the period.

At the cable networks, revenue dipped 1% to $2.6 billion while segment operating income declined 8% to $1.1 billion, driven by weaker ad sales at ESPN. On the conference call, chief financial officer Tom Staggs said advertising revenue at ESPN was down "just under 10%" for the period.
Staggs added that ad buyers are continuing to make purchasing decisions closer to the air dates of their advertisements. As a result, Disney "anticipates selling less inventory in the upfront," Staggs said.
At the broadcasting unit, revenue was down 4% to $1.4 billion and segment operating income plunged 34% to $204 million.

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