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Disney earnings: The movie business suffers, but interactive turns around

Mickey at Disneyland

Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

Disney made less money in its first fiscal 2013 quarter but still beat Wall Street expectations. And its online and social gaming segment swung to a profit.

The Walt Disney Co. just announced fiscal 2013 first quarter earnings. They slightly beat Wall Street expectations, at 79 cents per share on $11.34 billion in revenue; analysts who follow the company expected 76 cents per share on $11.21 billion in revenue.

Profits for the quarter were 3 percent lower than a year ago. In after hours trading, the stock was up almost 4 percent.

As with all Disney quarterly earnings announcement, you have to drill into how the company's operating segments performed to get the full picture.

The most interesting wrinkle for the first fiscal quarter was that Disney's movie business lagged all the other operating segments while the previously troubled Interactive segment began to show signs of life.

But before we get to that, let's put the overall business into perspective. Of that $11.34 billion in gross revenue, $5.1 billion — 45 percent — came from Media Networks, which includes ESPN, and believe it not, ESPN actually contributed to a loss in income for Disney in the quarter.

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Disney earnings: A good fourth quarter, but old problems remain

disney disneyland

Photo by KeithJ via Flickr Creative Commons

The Happiest Place on Earth continues to bring in profits for Disney, which is making money on theme parks but losing money on movies.

Disney just reported earnings for its fourth quarter and financials for its fiscal year. Fourth-quarter earnings were basically in line with expectations, even though the entertainment giant — which just spent $4.05 billion to buy Lucasfilm and the "Star Wars" franchise — didn't quite bring in as much revenue as analysts wanted, for the second consecutive quarter. Still, profits were up and a $10-billion-plus quarter isn't too shabby.

Overall, the company reported a three percent increase in revenue year-over-year. 

However — and it's a big howeverDisney continues to struggle with both its movie and interactive businesses. Year-over-year, broadcast, theme parks, and consumer products revenues were all up — with parks up by 10 percent. Studio entertainment and interactive revenues were both down year-over year — with interactive posting a 14 percent loss for both the quarter and the fiscal year.

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Ousted Disney Studios head Rich Ross lands in Murdochland at Shine America

Rich Ross (L), Walt Disney Studios Presi

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Rich Ross, on left in glasses, ran Walk Disney Studios until this April. Now he's landed at Shine America as CEO.

Back in April, Rich Ross was pushed out as the president of Walt Disney Studios, the moviemaking arm of the Mighty Mouse. This was just after the debacle of "John Carter," a bloated box-office flop, and before the advent of "The Avengers," which shattered box office records.

Ross, who had come from TV, was in the wrong place at the wrong time. "The Avengers" aside, Disney has been struggling of late to get its core filmmaking business back in track, even as the company has seen theme parks bring in solid revenues. It goes without saying that Disney isn't really Disney without movies. So it made sense that Disney named a movie executives' executive to the post in Alan Horn.

Meanwhile, Ross has landed on his feet — back in TV. He was just named CEO of Shine America, which is part of the Shine Group, an enterprise overseen by Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of Rupert Murdoch.

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Disney earnings: This company is all about broadcast and parks

disney disneyland

Photo by KeithJ via Flickr Creative Commons

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The Walt Disney Company reported third-quarter earnings today, and parks proved themselves once again to be a revenue leader.

Disney just released earnings for its third fiscal quarter. They beat analysts' expectations in terms of profit, but the company missed on total revenues (although not by much). There's a story within that story, however, that relates to recent trends for the Mighty Mouse.

At about $11 billion, the company's revenue was up 4 percent from the third quarter of 2011 (Wall Street wanted more). Earnings per share were up 31 percent, from to $1.01 in 2012 versus $0.77 in 2011.

A decent quarter, but that's just the beginning of story. If you look at Disney's revenues, you see that stuff like the Disney Channel and ESPN — broadcast — and the parks and resorts business combined accounted for roughly $8.5 billion. That's...77 percent of total revenue for the quarter.

The movie business is at $1.6 billion.

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Disney names an executives' executive in Alan Horn to run movie studio

Marvel Studios Celebrates Release Of "Marvel's The Avengers" At The New York Stock Exchange

Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Ringing the opening bell at The New York Stock Exchange as part of a celebration of the release of Marvel Studios "Marvel's The Avengers" on May 1, 2012 in New York City. Walt Disney Studios' new head, Alan Horn, will want to see more events like this.

When Rich Ross, a former TV guy, was ousted as the head of Walt Disney Studios, the moviemaking arm of the Mighty Mouse, it was generally assumed that someone with a tad more experience on the film side would be his replacement.

Ultimately, Disney went with experience and then some. Maybe a bit too much experience, in fact.

Alan Horn assumes the role, coming out of semi-retirement after a strong tenure at Warner Bros., where as president he oversaw the highly successful "Harry Potter" and "Dark Knight" franchises. This is from Bloomberg:

Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger has placed a high priority on the studio, which lost $84 million last quarter because of “John Carter.” The studio is benefiting this month from “Marvel’s The Avengers,” which has posted $1.31 billion in worldwide sales and lifted Disney to first in U.S. theater revenue at $742.7 million....

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