Disney beats profit forecasts and increases dividend

Disney beats profit forecasts and increases dividend

Disney sees a revenge story: Mr. Peltz is aligned with Ike Perlmutter, who was removed from his management role at Disney, and Jay Rasulo, a former Disney executive who was passed over as chief executive in 2015 and has resigned. Disney asked shareholders to reject Trian and another activist investor, Blackwells Capital, arguing that giving them board seats would slow the company’s turnaround efforts. (Mr. Peltz led an unsuccessful campaign for a Disney shakeup last year.)

“The last thing we need right now is to be distracted, in terms of time, energy, by one or more activists who frankly have a completely different agenda and don’t understand our company, its assets, even l the essence of our company. of the Disney brand,” Mr. Iger said on CNBC on Wednesday.

A Trian spokesperson had no immediate comment.

Mr. Iger used part of Disney’s quarterly conference call with analysts to highlight progress in strengthening ESPN for an uncertain future. Until recently, more than 100 million households paid for a cable or satellite television package that included ESPN. Today, the total is closer to 70 million, falling to the 50 million predicted by analysts by 2027.

Disney will introduce a flagship ESPN streaming service in 2025, “probably in the fall, maybe as early as the end of August,” Mr. Iger said. The service will feature most of the programs currently airing on the main cable channel ESPN. It will also offer sports betting, detailed stats, fantasy sports, e-commerce and have “robust” customization capabilities. (The flagship ESPN service will be separate from ESPN+, a streaming app that offers more specialized programming.)

Additionally, Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery announced Tuesday that they will partner and sell access to all the sports they broadcast (across 14 cable channels) through another new streaming service. It will be available this fall. Other details, such as price or who would manage the service, are not yet known.

Disney’s theme parks and consumer products division generated a profit of $3.1 billion, an 8% increase from last year. Revenue climbed 4 percent to $6.3 billion. For the first time, all overseas Disney theme parks were profitable, including the long-struggling Hong Kong Disneyland.

Lauren Hirsch reports contributed.

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David B.Otero

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