Walt Disney posted a surprising quarterly profit after movies “The Mandalorian” and “Soul” bolstered the company’s fast-growing streaming business to offset losses in its pandemic-hit parks business.
As investors overlooked the 53% decline in revenue from its parks and amusement parks in the past quarter and turned their eyes to Disney+, which reached 94.9 million subscribers, the company’s shares recorded a 3.1% increase to reach $194 after closing at its highest value ever in normal trading, the company’s division, which includes Disney+’s business, recorded an operating loss of $466 million, compared to an operating loss of $1.11 billion in the same period last year.
The number of paid subscribers to Disney’s streaming platforms, which includes Hulu and ESPN+, reached 146 million, and the company posted profits of 32 cents per share during the fourth quarter, while analysts’ expectations were a loss of 41 cents per share, and the company’s quarterly profit fell to $16.25 billion from $20.88 billion in the same period last year, but still beat the $15.93 billion value expected by analysts.
Disney’s entertainment business, which includes streaming, movie studios and traditional television networks, reported operating revenue of $1.5 billion, down 2% from last year, while the operating loss from amusement parks and consumer products for the company amounted to $119 million, compared to a profit of $2.52 billion last year.
The closures and business restrictions in its parks have cost about $2.6 billion, and looking ahead, the company expects costs to respond to government controls in implementing safety measures in its parks and in the production of films and television series to $1 billion in fiscal year 2021.