Cable channels lead Disney profits

bobigerProfits jumped at Walt Disney as its cable networks turned in a strong performance.
 Second-quarter net income rose 32 per cent to $1.5 billion, from $1.1 billion a year ago. Revenues rose 10 per cent to $1.06 billion.

Disney’s stock was already at record levels and the earnings report exceeded analysts’ expectations.

“Our results reflect our successful strategy, the strength of our brands and the value of our high-quality creative content, all of which continue to drive long-term growth and shareholder value,” CEO Bob Iger said.

Disney’s Media Networks group had an 8 per cent increase in operating income to $1.9 billion as revenue rose 6 per cent as cable gained while broadcast dragged. The cable networks’ operating income rose 15 per cent to $1.7 billion thanks to growth at ESPN, which had increased affiliate revenues and advertising sales. Those were partly offset by increased programming and production costs.

Cable revenues were $3.5 billion, up 9 per cent.

Speaking on the company’s earnings call with securities analysts, Disney CFO Jay Rasulo said that “the performance of our cable business in the second quarter reflects the benefit of new affiliate agreements resulting in total cable affiliate revenue growth in the low teens.”

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