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Disney+ subscribers miss estimates in tough quarter for giant

Adage India 2020-08-05 02:59:33

Walt Disney Co.’s 10-month-old video-streaming service, Disney+, grew to 57.5 million subscribers in the latest quarter, missing the 58.4 million average of analysts’ predictions compiled by Bloomberg.

The miss added to a tough period that saw the company earn just 8 cents a share in the third quarter ended June 27, with the coronavirus ravaging the entertainment giant’s theme-park, TV and consumer-product businesses. That beat Wall Street projections for a loss of 63 cents.

Disney’s theme parks lost a staggering $1.96 billion in the quarter, the Burbank, California-based company said Tuesday. The normally robust spring-break season saw nearly all of its attractions closed due to the pandemic. Disney resorts in California and Hong Kong are the only ones that haven’t reopened.

Profit at the company’s media networks, home of ESPN and ABC, rose 48 percent to $3.15 billion, as lower programming costs countered a drop in advertising.

Despite being unable to release films in theaters, Disney’s movie studio posted earnings of $668 million, a 16 percent decline from last year, as the library continued to generate revenue from people watching at home.

Earlier Tuesday, rival Comcast Corp. began a round of job cuts at its NBCUniversal division, which like Disney operates film and TV studios, broadcast and cable networks, and theme parks.

Disney shares rose in after-market trading. They were down 19 percent this year as of the close Tuesday in New York.

—Bloomberg News