A performer dressed as Mickey Mouse entertains guests during the reopening of the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California, U.S., on Friday, April 30, 2021.
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Disney is set to report fiscal second-quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday.
Here are the key numbers:
- Earnings per share: 27 cents expected in a Refinitiv survey of analysts
- Revenue: $15.87 billion expected in the survey
Analysts will likely focus on the company’s continued growth in its direct-to-consumer segment, which, so far, has helped offset losses in other segments affected by the pandemic.
The company said it had more than 146 million total paid subscribers across its streaming services as of the end of the first quarter. Within that, Disney reported it had almost 95 million paid subscribers to its Disney+ streaming service.
The company updated that figure in early March, saying the platform now has more than 100 million subscribers, a feat it achieved less than 16 months after launching.
Disney’s heavy-hitting Marvel Studios released its first exclusive TV series, “Wandavision” in January and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” in late March, which could have helped attract subscribers.
The company’s parks, experiences and products segment has continued to dip, as theme parks were either closed or operating at reduced capacity, and its cruise ships and guided tours were suspended. Revenue shrank to $16.5 billion, or around 25% of the company’s $65.4 billion in total revenue, in 2020.
Disney reopened its two California-based parks on April 30, so any revenue garnered over the last few weeks will not be reflected in the fiscal second-quarter results. However, the parks’ reopening could boost expectations for the fiscal third quarter. As of Thursday, Disney’s Paris-based theme park is the only location that has not reopened to the public.
In February, Disney’s Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said that for the parks that have been open during the pandemic, the company was able to make “a net incremental positive contribution” from the guests who visited despite reduced capacity levels.
Content sales and licensing revenues have also been afflicted this past year, with “Nomadland” being Disney’s only theatrical release in the U.S. over the quarter (it debuted simultaneously on Hulu). “Raya and the Last Dragon,” Disney’s latest animated feature, also debuted in some theaters internationally. It was made available on Disney+ Premier Access for $30.
Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne wrote in a note Tuesday that the company’s 2022 content slate could help boost the stock.
“Production delays and the shuttering of theaters for over a year have likely dampened investor enthusiasm for film-driven upside to Disney. However … Disney’s film slate is packed with franchise films arguably compressed over a shorter than typical period of time,” the note said.
Several Marvel titles are on the horizon, such as “Black Widow,” “Eternals,” “Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings,” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” as well as “Cruella,” “Jungle Cruise,” “Free Guy,” “Encanto” and “West Side Story.”