Disney revenue slides as it fails to find blockbuster success of last year's Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Rebecca Smith
Maybe don't cross this bridge when you get to it...
Maybe don't cross this bridge when you get to it... (Source: Getty)

The Walt Disney company reported quarterly earnings that topped analysts' expectations, though revenue fell short of Wall Street estimates.

The figures

The firm posted first-quarter earnings per share of $1.55 on $14.78bn in revenue. Analysts had expected first-quarter earnings of $1.49 per share on $15.26bn in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.

At the ESPN-led Cable Networks unit, revenues dropped two per cent to $4.4bn, while operating income fell 11 per cent to $864m.

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Why it's interesting

Revenue dropped due to a fall in advertising revenue at ESPN, and the fact Walt Disney did not have a hit film release comparable to the blockbuster success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It did though, Disney chief executive Robert A. Iger pointed out, secure its “first billion-dollar film of fiscal 2017” with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

And the Disney boss has also shed some light on his future, saying while he had "nothing specific to announce at this point", he was open to staying on past June 2018, when his current contract expires. "I'm going to do what's in the best interest of the company," he told analysts.

Read more: The Force is not strong enough for Disney

What the company said

“We’re very pleased with our financial performance in the first quarter. Our parks and resorts delivered excellent results and, coming off a record year, our studio had three global hits including our first billion-dollar film of fiscal 2017, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive.

With our proven strategy and unparalleled collection of brands and franchises, we are extremely confident in our ability to continue to drive significant value over the long term.

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