The Walt Disney Company’s earnings surpassed Wall Street estimates for the previous quarter as its streaming services brought in new customers and The theme park unit hit by the pandemic returned to profits.
Disney’s vice president of finance Christine McCarthy said that looking ahead, reservations for the company’s two theme parks in the United States continue to increase, even as COVID-19 cases rise.
“We are optimistic about the growth of our park area,” Chief Executive Bob Chapek said in a conference call with analysts. Officials said bookings exceeded the attendance rate for the quarter just ended.
The state of Florida, home of Walt Disney World, the brand’s flagship park complex, is at the epicenter of a new wave of COVID-19 cases in the United States, with a record number of cases and hospitalizations in recent days.
Disney is more optimistic than other companies about the impact of the Delta version on its operations. Southwest Airlines and vacation home rental company AirBnB warned that rising caseloads could hurt their business.
From April to July 3, Disney reported a profit of 80 cents per share, excluding a few items. Wall Street was expecting 0.55 cents per share, according to the average projection for analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.
Disney theme parks got more visitors as restrictions were eased due to the pandemic. Theme park revenue grew for the first time in five quarters, reaching $4.34 billion.
Net income for this division, which includes consumer products, reached $356 million, down from a loss of about $1.9 billion a year earlier when several Disney parks were closed. American parks made a profit of $2 million, while international parks lost $210 million.
Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ – the company’s three online subscription platforms – have garnered nearly 15 million new subscribers, totaling about 174 million. Disney+ had 116 million paying subscribers at the end of the quarter, just above the consensus of 115.2 million analysts surveyed by FactSet.