Explaining Southern California's economy

Disney finishes 2012 as the Los Angeles region's most valuable company

Mickey at Disneyland

Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

Mickey Mouse gestures as he poses during the launch of Disneyland Paris's 20th birthday celebrations. Back in the U.S.A., the Walt Disney Company finished the year as the most valuable publicly traded company in the L.A. region.

The stock market has officially ended its final day of trading for 2012. So which Los Angeles company wound up racking up the highest valuation?

The answer is completely unsurprising: $88.23 billion is how much the Walt Disney Company was worth as the closing bell rang on New Year’s Eve at the New York Stock Exchange.

Disney handily beat out the L.A. area’s two next most valuable companies: biotech colossus Amgen and energy giant Occidental Petroleum.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Disney in 2012. Theme parks and broadcast networks performed well, but the movie business struggled — with a major flop, "John Carter," and a shakeup in executive leadership in April before “The Avengers” broke box office records

After all that, CEO Bob Iger closed out the year with a bold move: He paid a bit more than $4 billion to buy Lucasfilm and bring the “Star Wars” franchise into the house the Walt built.

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