Earnings

Disney parks business roars back as company beats earnings expectations, stock soars

In this article

Bob Chapek, CEO of the Walt Disney Company and former head of Walt Disney Parks and Experiences, speaks during a media preview of the D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, Aug. 22, 2019.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Disney is set to report earnings for its fiscal first quarter of 2022 after the bell on Wednesday.

Here are the key numbers:

  • Earnings per share: 63 cents expected, according to a Refinitiv survey of analysts
  • Revenue: $20.91 billion expected, according to Refinitiv

Executives previously said they expect subscriber growth for Disney+ to be stronger in the second half of the year compared to the first, with original content being released on the platform in Q4 2022.

Disney has leaned into the tech space more and more, with its chief executive even giving a nod to the metaverse on its last earnings call, referring to the virtual world companies like Facebook-owner Meta are trying to create.

“Suffice it to say our efforts to date are merely a prologue to a time when we’ll be able to connect the physical and digital worlds even more closely, allowing for storytelling without boundaries in our own Disney metaverse,” CEO Bob Chapek said during last quarter’s call.

As pandemic restrictions have eased and vaccination uptake picked up, Disney had continued to see a rebound in its parks through the previous quarter, producing positive operating income in Q3 for the first time since the health crisis began.

The resurrection of the theme park industry is critical to Disney’s bottom line. In 2019, the segment, which includes cruises and hotels, accounted for 37% of the company’s $69.6 billion in total revenue.

The domestic box office, too, has started to see a recovery in recent months. While analysts expect the movie theater business’ rebound to remain muted until mid-2022, the success of “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” a co-production between Disney and Sony released in December, bodes well for the company’s theatrical future.

It’s unclear what percent the House of Mouse will get from the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe film, as terms of the deal between the two studios has never been disclosed, but Disney is expected to get a piece of the film’s $1.77 billion global haul.

Investors should expect Disney to double-down on theatrical releases for its major tentpole films going forward, which will reduce cannibalization of ticket sales from day and date streaming releases.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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