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A strong showing from its theme parks business powered Walt Disney’s fiscal first quarter earnings past Wall Street estimates with a slate of movies that included Rogue One also boosting the bottom line.
Theme park profits rose 13 per cent on higher ticket prices, attendance and spending. Profits would have risen more at the division were it not for Hurricane Matthew, which held back returns at Disney’s US attractions.
Disney owns brands including Pixar, Marvel and ESPN. Its movie studio has been on a tear lately and in Rogue One: A Star Wars story the company scored the first $1bn box-office return of 2017. Moana and Doctor Strange also fared well – although the three titles were outshone by Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the same period last year.
Revenues across Disney slipped three per cent to $14.78bn. Net income fell 14 per cent to $2.48bn, which partly reflected a timing shift in a college football game which hit ESPN profits, although the shift had been well-flagged by the company.
Earnings per share declined from $1.63 to $1.55.
Wall Street analysts expected earnings per share of $1.48 on sales of $15.3bn.