Disney shares were up more than 5% after the company reported an earnings beat for its fiscal fourth-quarter on Thursday.
Here are the key numbers:
- Earnings per share: $1.07, adjusted, vs. 95 cents expected, according to Refinitiv
- Revenue: $19.1 billion vs. $19.04 billion expected, according to Refinitiv
Disney’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings arrive just days before the company’s long-awaited streaming service, Disney+, is set to launch on November 12. The service costs $6.99 per month, or $69.99 per year, and will feature content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and more.
In an interview with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin following the release, CEO Bob Iger said the platform is “ready to go” following a test in the Netherlands that he said was “quite successful.” Later, on a call with investors, Iger said the demographics of those using the service “were far broader than a lot of people expected them to be.”
Iger announced on CNBC that Disney+ will be distributed on Amazon’s Fire TV as well as through Samsung and LG smart TVs. Amazon said in a release that Fire TV and Fire Tablet customers can get a free seven-day trial of Disney+ through their devices starting Nov. 12. Disney previously announced that Disney+ will be available on Android, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Roku devices.
Beginning in March, Iger announced, FX will have a “huge presence” on Hulu, which Disney owns. FX on Hulu will include current and former FX shows as well as original content produced exclusively for the platform. He emphasized the “benefit” Disney has in being able to create and own its own content “and then capitalizing on consumption on new platforms” like Hulu.
On a call with analysts, Iger revealed that ESPN+ now has over 3.5 million paid subscribers. He would not disclose pre-sale numbers for Disney+.
Iger said he’s not too concerned about the other platforms he will have to compete with, including Apple’s Apple TV+, NBCUniversal’s Peacock and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, as well as established players like Netflix and Amazon, echoing comments made a day earlier by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. At The New York Times’ DealBook Conference on Wednesday, Hastings says there’s a lot he can learn from Disney and that he plans to subscribe to their service. Iger said he is a Netflix subscriber.
For Disney’s other segments, the company’s media networks brought in $6.5 billion in revenue for the quarter. Revenue for parks and resorts came in at $6.7 billion. Studio entertainment revenue was $3.3 billion for the quarter and direct-to-consumer, $3.4 billion.
Disney’s park in Hong Kong seems to have taken a hit as a result of protests in the region.
“Circumstances in Hong Kong have led to a significant decrease in tourism from China and other parts of Asia,” CFO Christine McCarthy said, without naming the circumstances in particular. Based on Q4 trends, the company expects operating income at Hong Kong Disneyland to decline by about $80 million for Q1, McCarthy said. If the trends continue, she said, the company could to see a full year decline of about $275 million compared to fiscal year 2019.
Domestically, Iger said he believes they saw some “‘delayed visitation” because some consumers were waiting for the full opening of its new Star Wars attraction at Disney World and Disneyland.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the correct revenue estimate.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.