Theme Parks, ABC Drag Disney Down

Author:
Publish date:

The Walt Disney Co. saw pro forma revenue and earnings drop 7 percent and 42
percent, respectively, during its fiscal first quarter, dragged down mainly by
poor performances at the company's theme parks and the ABC broadcast
network.

Disney reported revenue of $7.1 billion and earnings of $297 million, or 15
cents per share.

While theme parks were adversely affected because of the drop-off in travel
since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, ABC was hammered by poor ratings.

Broadcast-network revenue fell 18 percent in the quarter to $1.5 billion from
$1.8 billion the previous year. Broadcast also reported an operating loss in the
period of $76 million, compared with operating income of $287 million in the
prior year.

At the company's cable networks, revenue was up 18 percent and cash flow rose
6 percent.

In a conference call with analysts, president Robert Iger said the company is
working hard to strengthen ABC's performance. And he added that Disney's
strategy to repurpose programming on its ABC Family and SoapNet cable channels
is beginning to pay off.

ABC Family, the former Fox Family Channel Disney acquired last year, reported
its highest ratings ever in December. Iger added that the ratings growth has
continued into January.

Iger said Disney is also working with advertisers to package repurposed
programming to ensure that advertisers on network programs follow those same
shows to the cable networks.

Related