In the first quarter of the year, Disney DIS posted net income of $1.28 billion, or 70 cents a share, on sales of $23.51 billion, up from $21.8 billion a year ago. After accounting for restructuring charges, amortization and other effects, Disney reported earnings of 99 cents a share, up from 63 cents a year ago.
The analysts that were surveyed by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of 78 cents a share on revenue of $23.44 billion.
After a strong first quarter, Iger, who returned as CEO in November to replace Bob Chapek, is embarking on a major transformation that will maximize the potential of our world-class creative teams and our unparalleled brands and franchises. We believe that the work we are doing to reshape our company around creativity, while reducing expenses, will lead to continued growth and profitability for our streaming business and better position us to weather future disruption and global economic challenges.
We want to provide value for our shareholders. The Disney shares rose more than 2% in after-hours trading immediately after the results were released. They ended up 0.1% at $111.75.
The first earnings report since Iger returned last year, and his 59th overall as Disney CEO, offered an encouraging look into the company's immediate future as it confronts a hostile proxy fight from billionaire investor Nelson Peltz, Disney cutbacks, and rising competition in streaming from Apple and Microsoft. Disney's biggest business segment, media and entertainment distribution, rose slightly from $14.78 billion a year ago, analysts on average predicted $15.4 billion. Direct-to consumer sales, including streaming services and some international products, brought in $5.3 billion, compared with analysts forecasts of $5.44 billion on average.
Disney's television networks generated sales of $7.29 billion, while analysts average estimates were for $7.4 billion. Revenue for content sales and licensing, a category that includes Disney's film business, was $2.46 billion compared to analysts expectations of $2.76 billion.
The company's iconic theme parks and product sales business increased to $8.74 billion in revenue from $7.23 billion a year ago. The average analyst estimate was $6.6 billion.
The Disney executives usually provide a forecast in their conference call after the results are released. The event is scheduled for 4: 30 p.m. Eastern time.
The broader S&P 500 index SPX has fallen 10% and Disney's shares have dropped 25% over the past year.