Well done, Mickey Mouse. Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) posted healthy quarterly results after Thursday's market close to cap off a record fiscal year. The market wasn't impressed -- at least initially.
The results were mixed, as one can expect out of any media giant with as many moving parts as the House of Mouse. Total revenue came in a bit light, clocking in at $13.51 billion. That was a 9% gain since the prior year's fiscal fourth quarter, but analysts were holding out for $13.55 billion.
Reported earnings grew at a mere 7% clip to $1.6 billion, but if you back out a deferred income tax asset write-off at Euro Disney and other one-time items, you find adjusted profitability actually soaring 35% to $1.20 a share. That was actually ahead of where the pros were parked, something Disney has done more often than not under CEO Bob Iger's refreshing tenure at the helm.
This was a welcome acceleration on both ends of the income statement, as the year-over-year pop during the fiscal third quarter amounted to 5% for revenue and 13% for earnings per share. Disney's media networks and theme parks were putting the pedal to the metal; they're just two of Disney's five operating segments, but they combined to account for 75% of the total revenue mix.
Both segments came through with top-line growth in the double digits as record attendance and guest spending at its theme parks and last summer's launch of the SEC Network helped prop up results. Revenue inched higher at all but one of Disney's five segments. A dip in mobile held back its interactive division. However, operating profits inched higher for all five segments.
It wasn't perfect. Disney suffered a second sequential dip in subscribers at ESPN, and that's going to be problematic when it comes to fears of folks abandoning cable and satellite television subscriptions. Disney can dismiss it as petty, but if live sports are no longer immune to cord-cutting, it's going to be an issue given the media giant's escalating league contracts. On the theme park front, operating margins contracted slightly as growing operating costs as well as fresh investments in Shanghai Disney and in-park technology gnawed away at bottom-line growth.
It still adds up to a solid quarter -- and a solid fiscal year -- and that's before we consider all of the catalysts that should make fiscal 2016 Disney's sixth year in a row of posting record financial results. We're now just a couple of days away from the next Pixar movie, and just a month away from the rebirth of the Star Wars franchise. Disney's doing just fine, and it's going to be a great, big, beautiful tomorrow.