Profits Soar at Disney with Help from Marvel


Disney was powered by Marvel to an excellent fiscal third quarter. The profits raced past expectations on Wall Street Tuesday with profit reaching $2.25 billion an increase of 22% from the same period one year ago.

The profit equaled $1.28 per share, while Wall Street analysts were predicting $1.17 a share.

Strong attendance at theme parks and a fourth straight quarter of profits at the video game division at Disney contributed to the results.

However, the biggest factor was Marvel Entertainment, which was acquired by Disney in 2009.

With earnings of over $713.5 million worldwide, Captain America: The Winter Soldier gave a substantial helping hand to Walt Disney Studios. The Studios had operating income that was more than double that of the same period one year ago.

The broadcast division at Disney was up 66% thanks to reruns of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the TV drama.

Merchandise that was tied to characters from Marvel, which included the X-Men and Spider Man, contributed $273 million of operating income at the Consumer Products division of Disney, an increase of 25% from the same term last year.

Unlike most of the time, the division of Disney that includes ESPN was not the driving force of the financial performance of the company.

Operating income in the unit Media Networks remained flat at $2.3 billion. Analysts had been worried that higher production and programming costs at ESPN would affect results and those challenges weighed on the results.

However, the weaker results at ESPN also included some nonrecurring factors.

Close to $100 million in payments from different cable operators will arrive during a different quarter in 2014 because of changes in contracts.

Totals from a year ago at ESPN also had income from the Irish and British channel that have since been sold by Disney.

There were however positives, as ad revenue was up at ESPN, despite the NBA Finals having two fewer games when San Antonio eliminated Miami in 5 games.

Walt Disney Studios enjoyed $411 million in income. Disney’s theme parks had operating income of $848 million, which was an increase of 23%.

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