BURBANK, Calif. – The Walt Disney Co. missed Wall Street’s expectations for its fiscal second quarter, dinged by over $1 billion it paid in early termination fees for TV shows and films it wanted to use on its own streaming service, Disney+.
The company remains in the crosshairs of Republican lawmakers and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over its opposition to a new state law barring instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. DeSantis signed a bill last month to dissolve the private government Walt Disney World controls on its property in the state in retaliation.
The entertainment giant said Wednesday it earned $470 million, or 26 cents per share, in the three months ended April 2. That’s down from $901 million, or 49 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Adjusted for one-time items, Disney earned $1.08 per share in the latest quarter.
Revenue grew 23% to $19.25 billion from $15.61 billion.
Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $1.19 per share on revenue of $20.05 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.
The company said it added 7.9 million Disney+ subscribers in the quarter. — and while the service is popular with families, it is also attracting signups from people who don’t sign up for the children’s content but for general entertainment titles.
Disney’s shares rose $3.68, or 3.5 percent, to $108.89 in after-hours trading.
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