Mark Zgutowicz from Rosenblatt Securities joins 'Closing Bell' to discuss Disney's earnings report, where the company missed expectations for revenue and EPS. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi
Disney reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday after-the-bell. The company missed Wall Street estimates across the board during the quarter ended Oct 2., sending the stock down more than 4% in after-hours trading.
Earnings per share: 37 cents adj. vs 51 cents expected, according to Refinitiv
Revenue: $18.53 billion vs $18.79 billion expected, according to Refinitiv
The company added 2.1 million Disney+ subscribers to reach a total of 118.1 million, in line with Disney’s estimates. During the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference in September, CEO Bob Chapek said the segment’s growth had “hit some headwinds” and that Disney expected to add “low single-digit millions” of streaming subscribers in the fourth quarter.
However, Wall Street was more bullish than Chapek heading into earnings. StreetAccount estimated the company would report 125.4 million total Disney+ subscribers as of the fourth quarter, suggesting 9.4 million new subscribers since the third quarter.
During the company’s earnings call, Chapek reiterated the company’s goal of reaching 230 million to 260 million Disney+ subscribers by 2024.
“We remain focused on managing our DTC business for the long term, not quarter to quarter,” Chapek said. International expansion and new content are the primary drivers for the company to reach that target, Chapek later told CNBC.
Disney is expecting to ramp up content for Disney+ in the fourth quarter of 2022.
“Q4 will be the first time in Disney+ history that we plan to release original content throughout the quarter from Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and Nat Geo, all in one quarter. This includes highly anticipated titles such as Ms. Marvel, and Pinocchio,” Disney Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said on the company’s earnings call.
She added the company expects its Disney+ additions in the second half of fiscal 2022 will be meaningfully higher than the first half of the year.
Average monthly revenue per subscriber for Disney+ came in at $4.12, down 9% year over year. The company attributed the dip to a higher mix of Disney+ Hotstar subscribers compared with the prior-year quarter.
Disney’s average revenue per subscriber has shrunk in recent quarters because of the lower price points for its Disney+ and Hotstar bundle in Indonesia and India. The service has lower average monthly revenue per paid subscriber than traditional Disney+ in other markets, pulling down the average for the quarter.
Overall, Disney reported 179 million subscriptions across Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu at the end of the fourth quarter. Revenue for the direct-to-consumer segments increased 38% to $4.6 billion. Average monthly revenue per paid subscriber rose slightly for ESPN+ and Hulu.
Content sales and licensing revenues increased 9% to $2 billion.
The company released films such as “Black Widow,” “Free Guy” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” during those three months and delivered solid box-office results.
However, higher operating and marketing costs led the company’s content sales and licensing segment to post an operating loss of $65 million during the quarter.
“While theaters have generally reopened, we are still experiencing a prolonged and gradual pace of recovery in this business,” McCarthy said.
Additionally, while much of Disney’s film and television production has resumed, the studio continues to see disruptions due to the pandemic.
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