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Disney (DIS) Beats on Q1 Earnings, Coronavirus Hurts Top-Line Growth

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Zacks Equity Research
·4 min read
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The Walt Disney DIS reported adjusted earnings of 32 cents per share in first-quarter fiscal 2020, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 171.1% but declining 79.1% year over year.

Revenues decreased 22.2% from the year-ago quarter to $16.25 billion but comfortably surpassed the consensus mark by 2.6%.

Segment Details

Media and Entertainment Distribution (77.9% of revenues) revenues declined 4.8% year over year to $12.66 billion.

Revenues from Linear Networks increased 2.1% to $7.69 billion. Moreover, Direct-to-Consumer revenues surged 73% year over year to $3.50 billion. Content Sales/Licensing and Other revenues declined 56.5% year over year to $1.70 billion.

The Walt Disney Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

The Walt Disney Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
The Walt Disney Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

The Walt Disney Company price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | The Walt Disney Company Quote

Parks, Experiences and Products revenues (22.1% of revenues) decreased 52.7% year over year to $3.59 billion.

Subscriber Details

ESPN+ had 12.1 million paid subscribers at the end of fiscal first quarter compared with 6.6 million at the end of the year-ago quarter.

Disney+, as of Jan 2, 2021, had 94.9 million paid subscribers, reflecting strong growth since its launch in November 2019. The company added more than 21.2 million users sequentially.

The rapidly growing subscriber base strengthens Disney’s position in the increasingly saturated streaming space currently dominated by Netflix NFLX. Launch of new services from Apple AAPL, Comcast CMCSA and AT&T has further intensified competition.

Hulu ended the quarter with 39.4 million paid subscribers, up 30% year over year.

The average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for ESPN+ inched up 1% year over year to $4.48 due to an increase in retail pricing.

The average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for Disney+ was $4.03, down 28% year over year. Moreover, the average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for Disney’s Hulu SVOD-only service increased 3% year over year to $13.51.

The average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for Disney’s Hulu Live TV + SVOD service rose 26% from the year-ago quarter to $75.11, owing to higher advertising revenues per subscriber, lower number of wholesale subscribers and an increase in per-subscriber premium and feature add-on revenues.

Operating Details

Costs & expenses declined 11.4% year over year to $15.99 billion in the reported quarter.

Segmental operating income decreased 66.7% year over year to $1.33 billion. Total net adverse impact of COVID-19 on segmental operating income in the reported quarter was roughly $2.6 billion.

Media and Entertainment Distribution segmental operating income declined 1.6% year over year to $1.45 billion.

Linear Networks operating income declined 4.4% to $1.73 billion. Moreover, Direct-to-Consumer operating loss was $466 million against the year-ago quarter’s loss of $1.11 billion.

Content Sales/Licensing and Other operating income declined 75.8% year over year to $188 million.

Parks, Experiences and Products operating loss was $119 million against the year-ago quarter’s operating income of $2.52 billion. COVID-19 hurt the segment’s profits by $2.6 billion.

Further, interest expenses increased 14% year over year to $324 million.

Balance Sheet

As of Jan 2, 2021, cash and cash equivalents were $17.07 billion compared with $17.91 billion as of Oct 3, 2020.

Total borrowings were $58.28 billion as of Jan 2, 2021 compared with $58.63 billion as of Oct 3, 2020.

Free cash outflow was $685 million in the reported quarter compared with $292 million in the year-ago quarter.

Outlook

For second-quarter fiscal 2021, Disney expects ESPN to benefit from the timing of college football and other sporting events. However, lower political advertising business will hurt the company’s broadcasting business. Additionally, the shift of the Academy Awards to the third quarter will hurt second-quarter top-line growth.

This Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) expects direct-to-consumer operating results in the second quarter to improve modestly against the year-ago quarter’s top line, driven by improvement at Hulu and ESPN+.

Management also expects Disneyland and Disneyland Paris to be closed for the entirety of the second quarter. However, Disney expects Hong Kong Disneyland to reopen during the quarter.

Capital expenditure in fiscal 2021 is expected to be roughly comparable to fiscal 2020 spending.

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