Business & Economy

'Frozen' boosts Disney 3rd quarter profits to new record; company trumpets 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

The characters of the film
The characters of the film "Frozen."

Animated hit film "Frozen" continued to help boost The Walt Disney Co., as the company reported third-quarter net income that rose 22 percent, topping analysts' expectations. The movie sold well at international box offices and in home video and also lifted merchandise sales, the company said Tuesday.

Disney chief executive Bob Iger said in a statement that earnings were at a record high for the quarter and that combined earnings per share from the company's first three quarters exceeded that of any previous fiscal year.

What's more, Disney's latest Marvel movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy," pulled down $94.3 million in ticket sales in its domestic debut last weekend, after the end of the third quarter.

Iger said in a statement that the film "once again reinforces the tremendous value of Marvel," which Disney bought for $4.2 billion in 2009.

Despite the film's featuring more obscure characters from the Marvel universe, the studio announced at Comic-Con in San Diego last month that a "Guardians" sequel is already set for release in 2017.

The Burbank-based company said net income in the three months through June 28 increased to $2.25 billion, or $1.28 per share, from $1.85 billion, or $1.01 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for profit of $1.17 per share.

The company said revenue climbed 8 percent, to $12.47 billion from $11.58 billion in the same quarter a year ago and beat Wall Street forecasts. Analysts expected $12.16 billion, according to Zacks.

Walt Disney's stock is up $10.35, or 14 percent, to $86.75 since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has risen 3.9 percent.

Image by KPCC's Graham Clark; information via Business Wire