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Disney Quarterly Report

Disney released their numbers for the last quarter on August 6th. Click through for a brief summary and the one piece of news about Star Wars buried in the report.

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Analysts are not too happy with Disney’s latest numbers. The company didn’t meet expectations. While Disney’s $20.25 billion revenue and $1.4 billion net earnings sound quite impressive, analysts had expected more, thus Disney shares fell a few percent following the release of the report.

But let’s not dwell on numbers too much, for us it’s probably more interesting to learn what Disney has to say about Star Wars. Actually, not all that much, almost nothing. However, that still beats Hasbro’s last quarterly report, in which Star Wars wasn’t mentioned at all.

So what does Disney say about Star Wars?

Growth at merchandise licensing was primarily due to higher revenue from merchandise based on Toy Story, partially offset by a decrease from Star Wars merchandise.

It is as expected, even though Hasbro didn’t say anything about Star Wars toy sales, sales were down in the 2nd quarter of 2019, which is Disney’s 3rd fiscal quarter, their fiscal year begins in October. It’s not all that much surprising perhaps, since only few things were released for Star Wars. Almost everything is held back for Triple Force Friday.

There are some other interesting tidbits in the report. Disney says this about their theme parks in the USA:

The decrease in operating income at our domestic parks and resorts was due to higher costs and lower volume, partially offset by increased average per capita guest spending. Higher costs were driven by labor and other cost inflation and expenses associated with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which opened at Disneyland Resort on May 31. The decrease in volume was due to lower attendance, partially offset by higher occupied room nights.

So yes, theme park attendance is down in the US, the various reports about fewer than expected crowds at Disneyland seem to be accurate after all, there was plenty of anecdotal visual evidence as well. Disney may have to think hard about their ticket prices, it seems the latest price increase may have been one too many. Disneyland Paris also had lower attendance, however the park reported a higher income. Disney attributes that to higher average ticket prices. So it worked for Eurodisney, but lower attendance is nothing Disney can be happy about.

And Bob Iger also issued a threat, ok I am joking, but I think the following statement about prospective new content for Disney+ may not be well received by everyone: Disney hopes to re-imagine popular Fox titles like “Home Alone,” “Night at the Museum,” “Cheaper by the Dozen” and “Diary of a Whimpy Kid” on Disney+.

It seems Disney has not run out of stuff to remake yet. Of course kids could always watch the perfectly fine original movies, some of them are classics even and certainly don’t need a “re-imagining”. But Lion King proves that people apparently love pointless remakes. So of course, Disney will make more.

And that’s all. Star Wars merchandise licensing was down, no surprise, we pretty much knew that, even without Hasbro telling us, theme park attendance is down, there were various reports about that, all true, it seems, and even though Disney overall made a lot of money, analysts still want more. But Disney’s net earnings were reduced by more than half in the last quarter, compared to the 3rd Quarter of 2018. The Fox acquisition was expensive. You can also see that in the segment about “cash”. Disney made 60% less cash last quarter than in Q3 2018, because of the Fox acquisition.

Now we can only hope that in the final quarter of 2019, Disney’s first fiscal quarter, Star Wars sales will be a lot better. They certainly will be, the question is, by how much? Back to 2017 levels at least?

Source: Disney’s official report, CNBC article

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