Disney Streaming Growth Disappoints; profit exceeds forecast

By Lisa Richwine and Tiyashi Datta

(Reuters) – Walt Disney Co fell short of Wall Street estimates of the number of new customers for the streaming service Disney +, according to an earnings report released Thursday, which showed the company’s quarterly earnings beat forecasts.

Disney shares fell 4% to $ 178.34 in after-hours trading on Wall Street.

Adjusted earnings per share were 79 cents between January and April 3, Disney said. Analysts were expecting 27 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Disney is focusing on rapidly developing its streaming service to challenge Netflix Inc. as audiences move away from cable television.

The company’s popular theme parks continue to rebound from crowd restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disney + reached a total of 103.6 million customers in early April, the company said. Two Marvel superhero series, “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” debuted during the quarter. Analysts had projected 109.3 million subscribers, according to FactSet.

Disney + ‘s average monthly income per paying subscriber decreased from $ 5.63 to $ 3.99, the company said, due to the launch of Disney + Hotstar in foreign markets. Factset estimates showed that Wall Street expected average revenue of $ 4.10 per user.

Total revenue fell 13% to 15.61 billion in the second quarter ending April 3, compared to analysts’ estimate of 15.87 billion, according to Refinitiv.

Earnings from continuing operations increased to 912 million, or $ 50 cents a share, in the second quarter, from 468 million, or 26 cents a share, in the same period last year.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles, Eva Mathews and Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru, Edited in Spanish by Manuel Farías and Rodrigo Charme)

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