Could this be Disney's
Early this morning, cable giant Comcast
Essentially, the company is letting its earnings do the talking, and they appear to be saying that $54 billion isn't quite enough.
First-quarter revenues climbed 19% from last year to $8.5 billion, and net income surged to $688 million, or $0.33 per share. Absolutely pounding Wall Street estimates of about $8 billion and $0.23 per share, that also compares more than favorably to last year's $0.05 per share profit, excluding the effect of an accounting change.
Disney posted revenue growth across the board. The main driver, however, was a 57% jump in revenues from its studio division, where operating income more than tripled to $458 million. That unit benefited from the DVD releases of its Finding Nemo collaboration with Pixar
Boosting the bottom line, media networks also benefited from lower programming costs, primarily related to the NFL.
On news of Comcast's bid, the market bid up Disney's shares almost 14% to $27.37 midday. That values Disney at $56 billion, a premium to Comcast's original bid. No doubt, investors believe Disney could fetch more, and its strong earnings report couldn't have weakened that conviction.
Eisner even seemed to be rubbing it in a bit, expressing confidence that Disney would "deliver earnings growth from continuing operations of more than 30% in 2004," with double-digit compound growth through "at least 2007." Those sound like fightin' words to me.
Give us your take on the Disney discussion board.
Jeff Hwang owns no shares in any of the companies mentioned above, and can be reached here.