CEO Michael Eisner is no longer on the hot seat. It's more of a lukewarm tingle now that Disney
Over the past few years, Disney had seen its empire start to crumble. How could the same charismatic chief who returned the company to prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s get into this mess? Its ABC network went from first to a fourth place finish over the past two years. Attendance at the company's signature theme parks started to suffer. Its in-house animation studio was being outdrawn by outsiders. Its Disney Store format had grown tiresome to suburban mallrats.
Although Disney was quick to point to soft trends in tourism and weakness in the advertising market for its problems, it's clear it just wasn't keeping pace with the competition.
While last night's report shows that the company's still got some Swiss-style holes in Mickey's cheese, you can probably call off the Main Street U.S.A. effigy burnings of Eisner plush dolls. Disney's back. Well, at least it's starting to come back.
The fact that earnings rose by 10% to $400 million while Wall Street was looking for a slide in profits is sweet. Growing the top line by 6% for a $6.2 billion showing was even sweeter. How so? Well, because Disney's cost-cutting initiatives have done their part to improve margins, many figured that Disney was too focused on streamlining its operations to actually grow revenues. Disney scored the best of both small worlds this time.
Strength at the box office, along with signs of health in the advertising market, helped its studio and broadcasting divisions during the June quarter. Even though the company is still struggling in its theme park business and has resorted to deep discounts to get the turnstiles clicking, Cedar Fair
Disney finally sold off its Anaheim Angels baseball franchise. Oddly enough, Eisner may well be on his way to getting his halo back.
Do you really think that Disney CEO Michael Eisner has won back the confidence of its shareholders? Is Disney's turnaround finally under way? Can you really buy Eisner plush dolls? All this and more -- in the Disney discussion board . Only on Fool.com.