Walt Disney Co reported better-than-expected first-quarter revenue on Wednesday, buoyed by a steady recovery in its domestic theme parks during the holiday season and strong streaming subscriber growth.
The company’s overall revenue rose 34 percent to $21.82bn in the quarter ended January 1, topping analysts’ estimate of $20.91bn, according to Refinitiv data.
Keep readinglist of 4 items
Disney+, the company’s two-year-old streaming service, kept the business afloat when the coronavirus pandemic disrupted its legacy theme parks, resorts and cruise operations.
Now, the relaxing of government restrictions and pent-up demand has led to strong attendance at domestic theme parks as Omicron fears have receded.
Shares of the entertainment company were up 8 percent in extended trading.
Net income from continuing operations was $1.15bn, or 63 cents per share, in the quarter, compared with a net income of $29m, or 2 cents per share, a year earlier.
Disney+ subscribers stood at 129.8 million at the end of the first quarter, compared with FactSet estimates of 129.2 million.
Investors are watching the streaming service’s growth trajectory as it relates to its ability to reach fiscal 2024 guidance. In November, Chief Executive Bob Chapek stuck by the company’s previous forecast of 230 million to 260 million Disney+ subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024.
Disney has poured billions into creating new programming to grab a share of the online video market dominated by Netflix Inc, staking its future on a direct-to-consumer strategy.
During the first quarter, Disney+ released the first episode of The Book of Boba Fett, about the Star Wars bounty hunter; The Beatles: Get Back documentary series from filmmaker Peter Jackson; and Hawkeye, about the Marvel superhero.
Disney announced in November that it would offer a bundle of its three streaming services, Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, for $13.99 per month.
In January, Netflix forecast weak first-quarter subscriber growth, which sent shares down nearly 20 percent and erased most of its remaining pandemic-fuelled gains from 2020.