Earnings Preview: Disney sees 'difficult' Q1 comparisons in studio unit

theflyonthewall.com

Disney (DIS) is scheduled to report Q1 results after the market close on Tuesday, February 5, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. The Walt Disney Company is a diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media... EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for EPS of 76c on revenue of $11.21B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 70c-80c on revenue of $10.98B-$11.41B... LAST QUARTER: Disney reported Q4 EPS of 68c against estimates for 68c on revenue of $10.78B against estimates for $10.92B. The company's media networks revenue was $4.88B vs. $4.8B a year ago, while its studio entertainment revenue was $1.4B vs. $1.46B a year ago. On its Q4 earnings conference call, Disney forecast "difficult" Q1 comparisons in its studio unit from home entertainment, and said that at cable, domestic sports rights costs will be $170M higher in Q1 vs. last year. The company also said Q1 parks and resorts results would be impacted by a timing shift. During the quarter, Disney announced plans to shut down Disney Movies online, its Web Movie service, as the site wasn't keeping up with user demands, and also said it would shutter Junction Point Studios. Disney also increased its annual dividend 25% to 75c per share. Disney and Netflix (NFLX) announced a multi-year licensing agreement that will make Netflix the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run live-action and animated feature films from The Walt Disney Studios. Reuters recently reported that Disney recently started an internal cost cutting review, which could lead to layoffs at its studio and other units... STREET RESEARCH: Stifel Nicolaus expects Disney to benefit from multiple catalysts including a compelling content cycle for its Studio unit and a swing to profitability at its Interactive business. The firm expects Disney's EPS growth to accelerate. B. Riley upgraded Disney to Buy from Neutral on January 23 based on valuation, a strong film slate, higher Theme Park margins and a higher rate card at ESPN... PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Disney shares are up almost 8%. Year-to-date, shares are up over 8%. Ahead of earnings, Disney is up almost 0.5% to $54.14.

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