LOS ANGELES – The Walt Disney Co. (DIS) blew past Wall Street expectations Wednesday, reporting strong first quarter earnings on gains from the sale of its shares in US Weekly magazine and the E! Entertainment channel.
Even without the one-time gains, which boosted earnings by 29 cents per share, the media conglomerate beat analyst forecasts by 11 cents per share on strong performance from sales of DVDs, including "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."
Results were also helped by a strong ratings performance at its ABC network and cable channels, including ESPN.
Net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31 more than doubled to $1.701 billion, or 79 cents per share, compared to $734 million, or 37 cents per share in the same period last year.
Revenue grew 10 percent to $9.725 billion compared to $8.854 billion in the same period last year.
Excluding one-time items, earnings grew 43 percent to 50 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected earnings of 39 cents per share on revenue of $9.513 billion.