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While Disney’s fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue were stronger than expected, the company’s long-term outlook may ultimately depend on its highly-anticipated video streaming service (set to debut in 2019) and whether it can close a deal for assets belonging to Twenty-First Century Fox, according to analysts.
In December 2017, Disney announced its intent to acquire the majority of Twenty-First Century Fox’s properties in film, television, and cable channels – including National Geographic, FX, and regional sports networks – for $52.4 billion in stock.
Although the term’s deals were approved by the Fox board, it was later revealed that Comcast had offered Fox $60 billion in cash for those same assets, an unsolicited offer which reportedly depends on whether regulators will approve the potential merger between AT&T and Time Warner. For “various reasons,” according to reports, it appears that the Murdoch family has chosen to commit to Disney and the two companies are likely to move forward with the original deal.
As for Disney’s strong second-quarter, the company experienced an increase in overall revenue – up 9% from the same time last year to $14.55 billion – which slightly exceeded analysts’ expected revenue of $14.11 billion. Disney’s Media and Networks revenue increased 3%, Parks and Resorts revenue increased 13%, and Entertainment revenue increased by a whopping 21%.
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, credited success in film for the increases. “Our ability to create extraordinary content like ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and leverage it across all business units, the unique value proposition we’re creating for consumers with our [direct-to-consumer] platforms, and our recent reorganization strengthen our confidence that we are very well positioned for future growth,” he said.
“The composition of [Disney’s] revenues was a positive in our opinion and overall the quarter was better than feared, with a stronger than expected bottom-line performance front and center,” says Daniel Ives, head of technology research at GBH Insights.