Disney's 2Q beats estimates despite soft theatrical revenue

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2019 photo, guests watch a show near a statue of Walt Disney and Micky Mouse in front of the Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Walt Disney Company reports financial results Wednesday, May 8. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Disney's adjusted second-quarter net income declined as higher revenue from its parks was not enough to offset lower theatrical revenue

NEW YORK — Disney's adjusted second-quarter net income declined as higher revenue from its parks was not enough to offset lower theatrical revenue.

However, the entertainment giant's results still beat Wall Street expectations.

The lower theater revenue in the quarter that ended March 31 was due to tough comparisons from a year ago, when the company released "Black Panther" and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi." During the same period this year Disney released "Captain Marvel."

The quarter closed just ahead of the release of the Marvel movie "Avengers: Endgame" in April. That movie had become one of the most successful movies of all time.

Net income for the quarter ended March 30 jumped 85% to $5.34 billion, or $3.55 per share. The company's bottom line got a big boost from a non-cash gain from its acquisition of controlling interest in streaming service Hulu.

Adjusting for that and other one-time items, Disney's quarterly net income came to $1.61 per share, down from $1.84 a share a year ago. The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.59 per share in the latest quarter.

Revenue edged up 3% to $14.92 billion. According to FactSet, analysts had expected $14.56 billion.

Disney, which is based in Burbank, California, closed on its $71 billion acquisition of Fox's entertainment assets during the quarter. It is using Fox assets, including "The Simpson," ''National Geographic" and other properties to help launch its streaming service Disney Plus in November. "Avengers: Endgame" is slated to hit the service in December.

Its upcoming theatrical releases over the course of 2019 include live action versions of "Aladdin," and "The Lion King," as well as "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," ''Toy Story 4," ''Frozen 2" and "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker."

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