Led by its cast of brawny superheroes, a villainous queen and one plucky animated princess,
The company posted net income of $2.25 billion for the quarter that ended June 28, up from $1.85 billion a year earlier. Revenue rose 8% to $12.47 billion.
Disney, the world's largest entertainment and media company, delivered earnings per share of $1.28 — the highest in the company's history. In doing so, the Burbank company beat analyst expectations of $1.17 a share, according to investment research firm Zacks.
The studio was the star of the show, with operating income surging to $411 million from $201 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 14% to $1.81 billion.
Disney released two major hits during the quarter: "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," which has grossed $714 million worldwide; and "Maleficent," which has taken in $729 million and stars
The quarterly results did not include the performance of the company's latest hit,
"The studio has been hitting it out of the park — it is a perfect storm, and the stars have never been more aligned," said Tuna Amobi, an S&P Capital IQ analyst, who has a "buy" rating on Disney's stock. "Sure, they are going to have their hits and misses, but it just seems like the misses have been few and far between."
Indeed, Disney has not released a high-profile disappointment since last summer's
Analyst Robin Diedrich of
"Frozen," about a princess' journey to save her sister, has spawned a lucrative line of merchandise and will become a Broadway play. And in May,
"This has always been the goal," Diedrich said of Disney's ability to take successful films and exploit those properties across other platforms. "That's the difference between what Disney has done compared to other companies."
During a conference call with analysts, Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Iger was asked whether the film studio could possibly do better.
He cautioned that "over time … every single film will not work. I've been in the business long enough to know that. I can't tell you which one won't right now, but that's the business."
But Iger said that the company's stable of properties and filmmaking team give it "a much greater likelihood of sustainable success."
Disney has built its trove of valuable intellectual property in part through acquisition. Disney bought comics juggernaut
Diedrich said that at the time of those purchases, some observers viewed the deals — and the previous acquisition of
She said the Marvel and Pixar deals were victories for Disney, and believes that the Lucasfilm acquisition should also pay dividends if Disney's relaunch of the "Star Wars" film series is a success. The first new "Star Wars" movie, directed by
Iger said that the company is "developing ideas and designs for a far greater 'Star Wars' presence in our parks," and would provide more details about the planned expansion next year.
In addition to the studio, Disney's parks and resorts, consumer products and interactive divisions each experienced double-digit operating income growth on a year-over-year basis.
The company's media networks division, which includes
Disney shares, which fell 49 cents, or 0.56%, to close Tuesday at $86.75, were up slightly in after-hours trading.