A major Hollywood studio with extensive holdings in both TV and film reported record earnings Tuesday — and then saw its stock value drop. B&C reports that the new “Star Wars” movie helped push The Walt Disney Co. to record earnings for the first quarter, while the company’s ESPN saw its profits fall. Issues at ESPN, where higher football costs offset ad gains, are part of big-picture concerns about the cable business.
“Fiscal first-quarter net income rocketed 32% to $2.88 billion, or $1.73 per share in the quarter, from $2.18 billion or $1.27 a share, a year ago,” B&C reports. “Revenue rose 14% to $15.2 billion.” But while the results beat most forecasts, Disney stock dipped 3% in after-hours trading.
At the company’s media networks unit, which includes ESPN, operating income was off 6% to $1.4 billion. Operating income for cable networks was down 5% to $1.2 billion even as revenue climbed 9% to $4.5 billion.