The company reported adjusted per-share earnings of $1.48, topping analysts forecasts of $1.34 for the fiscal fourth quarter. It booked record revenues of $14.3 billion, exceeding Wall Street’s projections of $13.73 billion.
Disney CEO Robert Iger will speak shortly to investors, who will be listening for more details about its plans for 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets.
The Burbank entertainment giant won a bidding war with Comcast for Fox’s assets, which include the company’s film and television studios and Star India, and its stake in the streaming service Hulu. The deal already has won Justice Department approval, and earlier this week got a thumbs up from European antitrust regulators.
Disney’s streaming strategy will likely be a major focus for Wall Street. The company reported its ESPN+ streaming service had reached more than 1 million in the first five months. Investors will likely anticipate an update on that service, and more insight into plans for the Disney-branded streaming service, which launches late next year.
Veteran media analyst Michael Nathanson noted the difficulty in financial forecasting for Disney, because it’s not yet clear what changes the company might make to Fox’s content distribution strategy.
“Will Disney move all Fox movies (even R-rated content) off their global Pay 1 deals and put those titles in a Disney-branded OTT service? Will Disney move Fox’s syndicated off-network content (e.g. Family Guy, Modern Family) to an exclusive window on Hulu or Disney OTT?,” Nathanson wrote in a recent investor note. “These unknowns could swing results in a much more material way than any of the other well-discussed variables.”