Shares of Walt Disney (DIS) jumped after hours after the company reported higher-than-expected earnings for its fiscal first quarter and forecast a 20% earnings gain in fiscal 2024.
The report came as the company has been cutting costs and reorganizing operations and is now in the middle of a proxy fight with two investor groups.
Shares jump after hours
Disney shares were up 7.6% to $107.20 at 4:20 p.m. after ending flat at $99.27 in regular trading.
The company earned an adjusted $1.22 a share in the quarter ended Dec. 30, up 23% from $0.99 a year ago. Revenue of $23.55 billion was up very slightly from $23.51 billion a year ago.
Based on continued cost costs and better results overall, but especially from its streaming businesses, the Mouse House sees earnings per share hitting $4.60 a share for the current fiscal year, up from $3.76 in fiscal 2023.
The streaming business has been a sore spot for the company, losing $420 million in fiscal 2023.
Disney CEO sees a rebound in 2024.
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CEO Bob Iger told CNBC the business should be profitable by the end of the fiscal year, as the company has been promising.
It still reported an operating loss of $138 million in the first quarter — a big improvement from $984 million loss last year.
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Whether that makes the two investor groups waging proxy fights happy remains to be seen.
Trian Partners’ Nelson Peltz is leading a charge to win two board seats at Disney’s annual meeting in April.
A second group, the Blackwells Group, advocates breaking Disney into three pieces.
The company is working with three competitors to organize a streaming service centered on sports. Disney’s ESPN network is one of the most powerful sports networks.
And it announced a $1.5 billion investment in EPIC games to develop Disney-themed games, Star Wars and other franchises.