Disney beats on earnings, whiffs on revenue amid weakness at ESPN

Walt Disney on Tuesday reported profits that topped expectations, but revenues that fell short of forecasts amid continued weakness at ESPN.

The media giant said it earned $1.50 in adjusted earnings per share during its fiscal second quarter, and $13.3 billion in revenue.

Analysts had forecast that Disney would report $1.41 in adjusted EPS and revenue totaling $13.45 billion, according to Bloomberg.

ESPN was the focus of these earnings results in the wake of recent layoffs that affected dozens of on-air talent as the sports network continued to lose subscribers. According to the latest estimates, ESPN has lost 12 million subscribers in the last six years.

Operating income from Disney's cable networks fell 3% from a year earlier to $1.8 billion. "The decrease in operating income was due to a decrease at ESPN, partially offset by increases at the Disney Channels and Freeform," Disney said. The earnings statement added that operating income was impacted by the fact that only one college-football playoffs game was held during the fiscal second quarter, while four were in the current quarter.

Revenues from Disney's parks and resorts increased by 9% to $4.3 billion, helped by Shanghai Disney Resort.

Studio entertainment recorded a 21% increase in operating income to $656 million, lifted by "Beauty and the Beast."

Disney shares fell nearly 2% in extended trading after the earnings results crossed.

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