Walt Disney lifts guidance after fiscal Q1 earnings beats estimates By Investing.com

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Investing.com —  Walt Disney on Wednesday lifted its annual outlook after fiscal first-quarter results topped Wall estimates as cost cuts bolstered performance.

Walt Disney Company (NYSE:) shares gained 5% in after-hours trade following the report.

Walt Disney adjusted earnings per share of $1.22 on revenue of $23.55 billion. Analysts polled by Investing.com anticipated EPS of $1 on revenue of $23.75.

The beat on the bottom line comes as the company’s cost cutting plan led to over $500 million in savings across the enterprise in the first quarter, with Disney saying it remains on track to exceed our $7.5 billion annualized savings target by the end of fiscal 2024.

Disney’s parks business saw revenue climb 7% to $9.13B in Q1 from the year-ago period. 

Disney+ core paid subscribers fell 1% sequentially to 111.3M in Q1, though average revenue per user rosse 2% to $6.84 amid subscription price hikes.

Disney+ subscribers fell to 146.1 million, missing estimates of 151.1 million, pressured by a 24% fall in Disney+ Hotstar subscribers.

The fall in subscriber numbers come as the company recently announced that its ESPN business would team up with Fox Corp., and Warner Bros. Discovery (NASDAQ:) to launch a sports streaming service later this year. 

The new sports service could be a “game changer”, Don Montanaro, President of Firstrade said in an email on Wednesday to Investing.com following Disney’s quarterly results. 

“The last frontier for streaming, we’re seeing more and more OTT providers capitalize on what could be a paradigm shift in the pay-TV and cable industries. If they follow a smart and data-driven approach, I believe Disney can ultimately get it right on streaming,” Montanaro added.

Looking ahead, the company said it now expects adjusted full-year fiscal 2024 EPS to increase by at least 20% compared with 2023, to approximately $4.60. 

For Q2, the company’s streaming service Disney+ is forecast to rack up core subscriber net additions of between 5.5 million and 6 million, the company said,

The company also announced in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday that it had made a $1.5 billion stake in EPIC games, maker for fortnite, to jointly create Disney universe that will be shopping, gaming and entertainment, marking the company’s biggest foray into the gaming space.

Disney also announced in an earnings call that Taylor Swift’s filmed Eras Tour would be available on Disney+ on Mar. 15. 

The company also increased its quarterly dividend by 50% to $0.45 a share, payable July 25 to shareholders of record July 8.

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