Despite ESPN Headwinds, Walt Disney's (DIS) Q1 Delivers; Has Good News for Star Wars Buffs

February 5, 2013 6:00 PM EST
Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) stock moved higher late on Tuesday after it reported another strong quarter that beat estimates on both the top and bottom line. The company delivered impressive performance despite higher costs of ESPN sport rights which weighed on operating income.

Walt Disney reported Q1 revenue of $11.34 billion compared to revenue of 10.78 billion last year. Consensus estimates called for revenue of $11.21 billion. Revenue grew in all Disney segment excluding its studio segment, which declined following a particularly strong quarter last year.

Walt Disney reported Q1 EPS of $0.79, $0.03 better than the analyst estimate of $0.76 and down from $0.80 last year. Operating income declined 2 percent, in part because of the previously mentioned high cost of ESPN sports rights.

Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Iger told investors he expects the next 'Star Wars' film to be in theaters in summer of 2015. Iger also said the company is working on stand-alone films based on Start Wars characters: this could suggest today's rumors of a 'Yoda' movie are accurate. Interest in 'Star Wars' follows Disney's $4 billion acquisition of Lucasfilms in October of 2012.

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