Coronavirus took a big chunk out of the Walt Disney Company’s profits during its most recent quarterly results, but the popularity of Disney Plus helped cushion the blow of the pandemic. It also helped the company beat Wall Street’s diminished expectations.
The family entertainment giant reported adjusted earnings per share of 32 cents for the period ending on January 2, while revenues dropped 22% to $16.2 billion.
The report comes as the COVID-19 public health crisis has upended several key tenets of the company’s business, shuttering many of its theme parks, waylaying its cruise lines, halting its Broadway productions, and devastating the theatrical film business. The park closures have been particularly painful, resulting in an estimated $2.6 billion hit.
And yet, Disney has largely endured those setbacks, its stock continuing to rise. Investors remain focused on the robust growth of its streaming offerings, particularly Disney Plus, its buzziest Netflix challenger. In December, Disney said the platform had 86.2 million subscribers — this quarter that number grew to 94.9 million subscribers. Across all of its services, which also include Hulu and ESPN+, Disney had 146 million subscribers.
Wall Street analysts were expecting the company to report revenue of $15.92 billion and a loss of 38 cents per share. Disney’s shares rose 1.5% in after hours trading on the strength of its report.
More to come…