It was a quarter of slow yet steady growth at Disney (NYSE:DIS).
The family entertainment giant reported its fiscal third-quarter results after Tuesday's market close. Revenue climbed 4% to nearly $11.6 billion, as single-digit percentage gains at Disney's media networks, consumer products, and theme parks divisions were held back by declines at its studio entertainment and interactive subsidiaries.
ESPN remained strong and park goers didn't flinch at recent ticket price increases. Unfortunately, ABC suffered from lower ad rates and The Lone Ranger tanked at the box office. When you're a company with as many moving parts as Disney, you're never going to hit on all cylinders.
Adjusted earnings per share rose just 2% to $1.03 a share, but that was actually ahead of Wall Street's flat expectations. Free cash flow did grow at a healthy 27% clip during the period.
"We are confident that our strategy of creating high-quality branded content positions us well for the future," CEO Bob Iger is quoted as saying in the earnings release.
Disney's next big test to prove that "high-quality branded content" will enhance its future come Friday when Planes lands at a multiplex near you.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.