In the tense closing scenes of Pixar's
"We're not aiming for the truck," says Buzz, shooting ahead to the car.
If you haven't been following Pixar's fiscal performance lately, grab your kid's copy of Toy Story and watch that scene. The computer animation giant trounced third-quarter earnings last night. Wall Street was looking for $0.74 a share, but that's just the moving truck. Pixar earned $0.87 a share. As impressive as the analyst-thumping may appear, the 19% surprise isn't even par for the course. Over the previous four quarters, Pixar beat Wall Street's targets by an average of 40%.
On the strength of selling 25 million copies of Monsters, Inc. on video and DVD since its September release, Pixar topped the $100 million mark in quarterly revenue for the first time. With DVD players selling briskly, it should come as no surprise that Monsters, Inc. is now also the top-selling DVD of all time.
What can Pixar do for an encore? Finding Nemo hits theaters in May, and the company remains in a juicy position to play hardball with Disney
While Pixar is eligible to begin negotiating its post-2005 plans in a few months, there's still time for both companies to find common ground and give Hollywood the happy ending it craves. But with Pixar now raising its full-year bottom-line guidance to as high as $1.55 a share, it can afford to let others worry about the minor details.
Pixar isn't aiming for the truck.