Disney Rallies the Dow Jones Today Toward Record High

Disney  (NYSE: DIS  )  has led the Dow Jones Industrial Average  (DJINDICES: ^DJI  )  higher today by 70 points, to 16,592, as of 1:30 p.m. EDT, leaving the blue-chip index within spitting distance of its all-time high of 16,631. Disney reported record earnings on the popularity of Frozen, the highest-grossing animated movie of all time, earlier in the week. Meanwhile, the S&P 500  (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  )  was up four points to 1,882.

The House of Mouse's stock was up nearly 2% to $81.86 after its strong quarterly earnings report after the market close on Tuesday. Earnings per share came in at $1.08, up 30% from $0.83 a year ago, and far surpassing analyst expectations of $0.96. CEO Bob Iger said on the earnings conference call:

We're extremely pleased with our results this quarter, delivering double-digit increases in operating income across all of our businesses and the highest quarterly earnings per share in the history of the company. Our continued strong performance reflects the strength of our brands, the quality of our content, and our unique ability to leverage creative success across the entire company to drive value.

Disney revenue came in at $11.65 billion, 10% above last year's $10.55 billion. The film division led the company's revenue jump with 35% growth; Frozen's strength led to a 300% jump in the division's income from $118 million to $475 million. The below infographic from late April gives some of the stats on Frozen, all of which have grown since then:

Source: Disney.

Frozen is a franchise the company can build on for years to come, both in terms of additional movies and across its theme parks and resorts, music, and merchandise divisions.

Disney has been a top-performing stock the past decade as the company acquired brand-name content creators such as Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and most recently Maker Studios. Disney uses its own know-how and businesses to create franchises around its acquisitions' already strong brands.

While the focus for this quarter was on Disney's film business, investors should not forget the company owns ESPN, A&E, and the Disney Channel, which remain some of the most valuable television operations in the U.S. The company's cable networks' quarterly operating income grew 15% year over year to $1.97 billion. Disney is at the height of its game right now ,and looks like it will continue its momentum in the years ahead on the strength of its existing and new franchises.

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Dan Dzombak

Dan Dzombak has written for The Motley Fool since 2008. He covers value investing, investing process, and success among other things. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter by clicking the buttons below or head over to his blog at

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9/4/2015 12:26 PM
^DJI $16088.53 Down -286.23 -1.75%
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S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars
DIS $101.03 Down -0.96 -0.94%
Walt Disney CAPS Rating: *****