Here are the important numbers:
- Earnings per share: $1. 07, corrected, vs. 95 cents expected, based on Refinitiv
- Revenue: $19.1 billion vs. $19. 04 billion anticipated, based on Refinitiv
Disney’s financial fourth-quarter earnings arrive just days before the business’s long-awaited streaming support, Disney+, is set to start November 12. The service costs $6. 99 a month, or $69. 99 annually, and will feature content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and much more.
In an interview with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin after the launch, CEO Bob Iger said the platform is “ready to go” after a test in the Netherlands that he said was “quite successful.” Afterwards, on a call with investors,” Iger said the demographics of those using the service “were far broader than a lot of people expected them to be.”
Iger announced on CNBC that Disney+ will be distributed on Amazon‘s Fire TV in addition to through Samsung and LG smart TVs. Amazon said in a release that Fire TV and Fire Tablet clients can find a free seven-day trial of Disney+ through their apparatus starting Nov. 12. Disney previously declared that Disney+ will be available on Android, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Roku devices.
Starting in March,” Iger announced, FX will have a “huge presence” on Hulu, which Disney owns. FX on Hulu will consist of current and former FX shows and original content produced exclusively for the stage. He highlighted the “benefit” Disney has in having the ability to make and possess its own content “and then capitalizing on consumption on new platforms” such as Hulu.
On a call with analysts, Iger revealed that ESPN+ currently has over 3.5 million paid subscribers. He wouldn’t disclose pre-sale amounts for Disney+.
Iger said he is not overly worried about the other platforms he might need to compete with, such as Apple’s Apple TV+, NBCUniversal‘s Peacock and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, in addition to established players such as Netflix and Amazon, echoing remarks made a day before by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. In The New York Times’ DealBook Conference on Wednesday, Hastings says there is a lot he can learn from Disney and that he intends to subscribe to their service. Iger said he’s a Netflix subscriber.
For Disney’s other sections, the organization’s media networks earned $6.5 billion in revenue for the quarter. Revenue for parks and hotels came in at $6.7 billion. Studio amusement revenue was $3.3 billion for the quarter and direct-to-consumer, $3.4 billion.
Disney’s park in Hong Kong appears to have taken a hit because of protests in the area.
“Circumstances in Hong Kong have led to a significant decrease in tourism from China and other parts of Asia,” CFO Christine McCarthy said, without naming the situation specifically. According to Q4 tendencies, the company expects operating income at Hong Kong Disneyland to decrease by roughly $80 million for Q1,” McCarthy said. If the trends continue, she said, the business could to see a complete year decrease of roughly $275 million compared to fiscal year 2019.
Domestically,” Iger said he believes they watched some “‘delayed visitation” since some customers were waiting for the entire introduction of its new Star Wars attraction at Disney World and Disneyland.
Correction: This story was updated to reflect the right revenue estimate.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.