Recap: The Walt Disney Company Q4 2018 Earnings Call

This afternoon, The Walt Disney Company held its fourth quarter earnings call and along with the standard reports of business performance, Disney also made a few big announcements.

Disney Streaming Service

The Walt Disney Company

  • Disney has announced that the name of their streaming service will be Disney+.
  • The service is set to debut in late 2019 with it’s catalogue of films, documentaries, and television shows along with new original content.
  • Marvel fans will be thrilled to know that a live-action Loki series starring Tom Hiddleston as the god of mischief will be on Disney+.
  • Bob Iger has also confirmed that Disney+ will be carrying National Geographic content.
  • Disney+  will feature a docu-series on Walt Disney Imagineering.
  • Iger has confirmed that Disney is negotiating with existing rights holders about getting rights for Disney+ but declined to give more details.
  • Iger says that he still expects to roll out Disney+ and Hulu internationally.
  • More details on Disney+ will be revealed at an investor conference in April.

Star Wars News

  • Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced today that Lucasfilm is in development on a second Star Wars live-action series for Disney+.
  • The series, which will go into production next year, follows the adventures of rebel spy Cassian Andor during the formative years of the Rebellion and prior to the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
  • Diego Luna will reprise the role of Andor.
  • The rousing spy thriller will explore tales filled with espionage and daring missions to restore hope to a galaxy in the grip of a ruthless Empire.
  • A release date for the series has not yet been announced. Stay tuned to for the latest updates.

What they’re saying:

  • Diego Luna: “Going back to the Star Wars universe is very special for me. I have so many memories of the great work we did together and the relationships I made throughout the journey. We have a fantastic adventure ahead of us, and this new exciting format will give us the chance to explore this character more deeply.”

Earning and Shares

  • Disney is reporting EPS $1.48 compared to $1.34 expected.
  • Disney stock closed down 1.05 (.9%) ahead of their earnings, while the DOW was up .04%.
  • Disney stock is up 2.25 (1.88%) in after hours trading.
  • Disney has written off $157 million of their $400 million investment in Vice.

Parks and Resorts

  • Disney is reporting that Parks and Resorts revenues for the quarter have increased 9% to $5.1 billion.
  • Additionally segment operating income increased 11% to $829 million.
  • Iger points out that the change in ticketing strategy at Walt Disney World should help to spread out demand and increase yield.
  • Disney spent greater than $800 million more on domestic park capital projects in 2018 (3.2 billion) than they did the previous year.
  • Due to some softness in the tourism market in China, Disney has rolled out some discounting.
  • While nothing has been formally announced at this time, Disney does have plans for new attractions and hotels at the Shanghai Disney Resort.

21st Century Fox Acquisition

  • As the 21st Century Fox acquisition continues to progress, Iger reports that Disney expects to cover the acquisition at their April investor conference, meaning they expect to have the deal closed before then.
  • Earlier in the call Iger said that he expects for the 21st Century Fox deal to close “meaningfully earlier” than June, their original estimate.
  • At this time, Disney is not looking to make more movies after the acquisition than Fox and Disney made before.

For more information about today’s earnings call, check out our live blog.