Is Disney (NYSE:DIS) the next great growth stock? After watching it wrap up a fiscal year that saw earnings per share soar by 81% to $1.12 a share, it may certainly seem that way. However, after a rocky road over the two previous years, that kind of bottom-line surge may be misleading.

That is why it's probably more important to consider where the entertainment conglomerate will go from here, and in that sense it's encouraging to see Disney heading toward modest double-digit profit growth over the next few years. Growing revenues by 14% to hit $30.8 billion is more indicative of Disney's success, and that's pretty good for a company of its size.

While attendance at its theme parks could have been better and its studio could use another hit film or two, the company was still able to grow operating profits at each of its subsidiaries in fiscal 2004.

Generating $2.9 billion in free cash flow over the course of the year has its privileges. In Disney's case that has meant more money for share buybacks, as the company has repurchased 14.9 million shares over the past quarter alone.

The future looks pretty good for the Mickey Mouse company. Hit shows at ABC and a heralded celebration at its theme parks to commemorate Disneyland's 50th birthday should help propel Disney's two most important operating segments. Moves like handing off operations at its 313-store Disney Store chain through a licensing agreement with Children's Place (NASDAQ:PLCE) will help it focus on its core competencies.

While it's only natural to imagine where Disney's former stronghold of theatrical animation now stands relative to more successful players like DreamWorks Animation (NYSE:DWA) and Pixar (NASDAQ:PIXR), Disney is such a diversified entity that it doesn't have to hit on all cylinders to outperform the market.

That would just be Goofy.

Is Disney really doing well right now or is it just a matter of time before things fall apart? Have you ever worn a Disney poncho? All this and more -- in the Disney discussion board. Only on

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been to all six of Disney's domestic theme parks this year, but he's never been caught overpaying for a churro. He owns shares in Disney and Pixar. He is a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out tomorrow's great growth stocks today.