The Walt Disney Co. exceeded expectations in reporting a very profitable second fiscal quarter of 2015.
The company reported earnings of $2.1 billion for the quarter, which ended March 28. Diluted earnings per share increased 14 percent to $1.23 from $1.08 in the prior-year quarter.
“Our second quarter performance, marked by increased revenue, net income and EPS of $1.23, demonstrates the incredible ability of our strong brands and quality content to drive results,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Co. in a statement. “The power of this winning combination is once again reflected in the phenomenal worldwide success of Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, which has opened at number one in every market so far.”
Overall revenues rose 7 percent to $12.5 billion. Breaking down revenue into segments, media networks posted a 13 percent revenue increase but an overall decrease of 2 percent in operating income. Higher programming and production costs at ESPN dragged down operating income for cable networks 9 percent to $1.8 billion. Broadcasting income, however, increased 90 percent to $302 million due to growth in advertising, affiliate fees and program sales.
Studio entertainment revenues were down 6 percent to $1.7 billion, with income from Big Hero 6 falling short of the high mark set in this quarter last year by Frozen.