Disney Earnings Fall on Lower Revenue From Parks, TV

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Disney earningsWalt Disney's (DIS) fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell 6.7% on a change in timing of deferred revenue recognition at its ESPN network and lower earnings from its parks and resorts unit. Shares fell as the company missed analysts' estimates for the first time in six quarters.

Net income for the quarter ended Oct. 2 was $835 million, or 43 cents a share, down from $895 million, or 48 cents, a year earlier, the company said in a statement Thursday. Revenue fell 1.3% to $9.74 billion.

Disney's earnings were cut by nine cents a share from a change in timing of deferred revenue recognition at ESPN. The change dropped the network's deferred revenue to $170 million from $524 million a year earlier. Overall, operating profit from Disney's media networks, which account for almost half of Disney's revenue, dropped 18% from a year earlier.

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Additionally, operating income at Disney's parks and resorts division fell 8% from a year earlier on higher costs and lower attendance at Florida's Walt Disney World and less business at Disney Cruise Line.

Lower earnings from Disney's resorts and networks more than offset a surge in fourth-quarter income from the company's studio entertainment unit, which was bolstered by theatrical releases such as Toy Story 3 and Iron Man 2 and by DVD releases such as Up and Alice in Wonderland.

Disney missed the 46 cents a share in earnings and $9.94 billion in revenue forecast by analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll. Shares fell 2.9% to $35.93 in regular trading Thursday.

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