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Disney's Nearly Perfect Quarter

By Rick Munarriz - Updated Apr 6, 2017 at 12:17PM

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The family entertainment giant nearly pulls off a monster quarter.

Is it still a blowout quarter if one of your five tires blows out?

Disney (NYSE: DIS) pulled off an impressive quarter last night. Revenue topped $10 billion, inching 16% higher. Adjusted earnings soared 29% to hit $0.67 a share. Analysts were asleep at the cheese wheel, targeting a profit of only $0.58 a share on $9.4 billion in revenue.

Disney's success came as all five of its subsidiaries -- media networks, theme parks, consumer products, studio, and interactive media -- posted year-over-year revenue gains. This also happened three months ago, a fresh break from two quarters ago when only Disney's media-networks arm delivered top-line growth.

All but one of Disney's five segments posted healthy improvement in operating profits. The lone holdout? Disney's theme parks and resorts division, with operating income taking an 8% dip. However, even that subsidiary's meager 3% top-line spurt rings hollow, the only division not to post double-digit gains.

Disney reported weakness at its domestic resorts and cruise line. It's a problematic one-two punch, since Disney has gone on to hike admission prices to its stateside parks last week. It also will begin sailing its third cruise ship in a matter of months.

It's not as if Disney's competition is smarting. Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL) posted higher earnings and revenue for the same quarter. Steiner Leisure (Nasdaq: STNR) -- the operator of spas on most cruise ships, and a great proxy for onboard spending -- posted healthy upticks on both the top and bottom lines. Regional amusement park operator Cedar Fair (NYSE: FUN) posted gains in revenue and attendance. Carnival (NYSE: CCL) and Six Flags (NYSE: SIX) have yet to report, but all signs short of Disney point to improvement in the leisure industries.

In the end, this is the only blemish on an otherwise impeccable report. ESPN remains a beast of a workhorse. Disney's milking Marvel, accordingly. Even Disney's interactive gaming division reversed a year-ago deficit.

Investors will want to keep a close eye on how the telltale summer season plays out for Disney's theme parks and cruise lines, but the family entertainment giant clearly has enough in the tank at this point to overcome any single subsidiary slacking off.

Are there deeper problems at Disney's domestic theme park resorts? Share your experience in the comments box below.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

The Walt Disney Company Stock Quote
The Walt Disney Company
$147.81 (-0.20%) $0.30
Carnival Corporation Stock Quote
Carnival Corporation
$18.16 (1.17%) $0.21
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Stock Quote
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
$69.89 (2.81%) $1.91
Cedar Fair, L.P. Stock Quote
Cedar Fair, L.P.
$48.83 (0.29%) $0.14
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation Stock Quote
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
$37.64 (-1.70%) $0.65

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