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Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Disney’s Earnings Call a Big Hit, with Disney+ Subscribers Beating Expectations

 by Ray Keating



February 9, 2022


Let’s see if I have this straight. When Disney+ subscriber gains fail to meet market expectations, Disney’s stock takes a hit. It follows that when Disney+ subscriptions beat market expectations, Disney’s stock rises. Got it.

The market liked what it heard on The Walt Disney Company’s earnings call on February 9. Indeed, the company hit the sweet spot on several key measures – and yes, very much including Disney+ subscriber gains.


For the first quarter ended January 1, 2022, diluted earnings per share, excluding certain items, came in at $1.06, up from $0.32 in the prior-year quarter.


Also, domestic parks and resorts earned record revenues and operating income. The Disney Parks, Experiences and Products division saw revenues up by 102 percent versus the same quarter last year.


And as for those streaming subscriptions, Disney+ added 11.8 subscribers in the first quarter – outdistancing market expectations. Indeed, it was a healthy gain compared to the previous quarter’s gain of 2 million. Compared to the previous-year quarter, Disney+ subscribers were up by 37 percent, from 94.9 million to 129.8 million. 


ESPN+ subscribers experienced an increase of 76 percent, from 12.1 million to 21.3 million. And Hulu rose from 39.4 million subscribers to 45.3 million, a gain of 15 percent.


That tallies up to total subscriptions across Disney’s streaming portfolio registering 196.4 million, compared to 146.4 million.


In after-hours trading (about an hour-and-a-half after the market closed), Disney’s share price was up by 8 percent.


Looking ahead for the company, Bob Chapek, Disney CEO, declared, “This marks the final year of The Walt Disney Company’s first century, and performance like this coupled with our unmatched collection of assets and platforms, creative capabilities, and unique place in the culture give me great confidence we will continue to define entertainment for the next 100 years.” 




Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and assorted nonfiction books. Have Ray Keating speak your group, business, school, church, or organization. Email him at raykeating@keatingreports.com.


The views expressed here are his own – after all, no one else should be held responsible for this stuff, right?


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Keating has three new books out. Vatican Shadows: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel is the 13th thriller/mystery in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Get the paperback or Kindle edition at Amazon, or signed books at www.raykeatingonline.comPast Lives: A Pastor Stephen Grant Short Story is the 14th book in the series. Again, get the paperback or Kindle edition at Amazon, or signed book at www.raykeatingonline.com. And order the 15th book in the series What’s Lost? A Pastor Stephen Grant Short Story – grab it at Amazon.com or signed editions at www.raykeatingonline.com


Also, check out Ray’s podcasts – the Daily Dose of DisneyFree Enterprise in Three Minutes, and the PRESS CLUB C Podcast.

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