Disney shares up on earnings beat, but revenue falls short

Disney Beats Earnings Expectations, Falls Short on Revenue

All of the high-profile content ESPN pays billions of dollars a year to show - stuff like National Basketball Association games, NLF games, top-tier college football - none of that will be on ESPN's new service. Disney's free cash flow will plummet some $4 billion between its 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, reckon Bernstein analysts - an nearly 30 percent decline.

In December, Disney announced a $52.4 billion deal to buy film, television and global assets from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc FOXA.O , a move that will allow it to offer more programming to online viewers.

Analysts had predicted per-share profit of $1.61 and revenue of $15.45 billion. Users will have to subscribe to those ESPN channels via other means, including cable TV. The streaming service will be priced at $4.99 per month, Iger said. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $15.45 billion.

The company's net income increase was partly due to a US$1.6 billion one-time tax benefit associated with new United States federal income tax legislation.

It will also give them access to a collection of sports news, scores, and highlights that Iger said will be "highly personalized" based on geography, sports team affiliation, and other data points.

Higher losses from streaming service Hulu, in which Disney will become a majority stakeholder pending the close of its Fox acquisition, were partially attributed to an equity decrease in investee income from US$119 million in the prior-year quarter to US$50 million.

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Both streaming direct-to-consumer products will be powered by BAMTech.

The Last Jedi, which has recently passed $1.32 billion worldwide, helped keep the Studio Entertainment results in line with a year ago, which had the added benefit of both Moana and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Iger made the announcement while speaking to CNBC, confirming that the streaming service will be called "ESPN Plus" and come this spring, alongside a "completely revised and redesigned" ESPN app. In addition to a new trilogy already under development, the company announced Tuesday that "Game of Thrones" creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will work on a new series of "Star Wars" films.

Broadcast operating income was down 25% to $$258 million as revenue dropped 3% to $1.75 billion.

Media networks segment's revenues were flat at $6.24 billion, while parks and resorts units increased 13 percent to $5.15 billion. Disney first announced the service back in August 2017, but few specifics about the platform have emerged since. Disney and Netflix announced previous year that its landmark streaming deal will expire by the end of 2019, but not all films will leave the platform immediately.

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