Shares of Walt Disney (DIS -1.79%) rose 3.4% on Thursday after the entertainment colossus delivered surprisingly strong results in its theme park and streaming businesses.
Disney's revenue surged 34% year over year to $21.8 billion in its fiscal 2022 first quarter, which ended on Jan. 1. Adjusted earnings per share, in turn, soared 231% to $1.06. Both figures came in above Wall Street's estimates, which had called for revenue and adjusted per-share profits of $20.9 billion and $0.63, respectively.
Disney's parks, experiences, and products division saw revenue more than double to $7.2 billion, as coronavirus-related restrictions eased and people returned to the company's resorts and cruise lines. The division also generated record operating income, despite attendance that has not yet returned to pre-pandemic highs.
Disney+ was another bright spot. The popular streaming service added 11.8 million subscribers in the first quarter. That brought Disney's subscriber count to 129.8 million at the end of the quarter, and a total of 196.4 million when including ESPN+ and Hulu.
During a conference call with analysts, CEO Bob Chapek reiterated Disney's long-term target of 230 million to 260 million total Disney+ subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024. That helped to assuage investors' fears that Disney's streaming growth would fall short of expectations, following Netflix's subscriber shortfall in its recent fourth-quarter report.
Looking even further ahead, Chapek painted a bright picture of the entertainment titan's future: "This marks the final year of The Walt Disney Company's first century, and performance like this coupled with our unmatched collection of assets and platforms, creative capabilities, and unique place in the culture give me great confidence we will continue to define entertainment for the next 100 years."