Disney returns to profit in 4Q, helped by reopened parks

The Walt Disney Co. returned to a quarterly profit as it once again got a bump from reopened parks

The Walt Disney Co. returned to a quarterly profit as it once again got a bump from reopened parks.

Burbank, California-based Disney on Wednesday reported that its net income was $159 million in the three months through Oct. 2, compared with a loss of $710 million in its fiscal fourth quarter a year ago. Earnings per share came to 9 cents, or 37 cents after one-time items. Revenue climbed 26% to $18.53 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet predicted earnings of 52 cents per share, excluding one-time items, on revenue of $18.8 billion. Disney shares dropped 4.6% to $166.29 in aftermarket trading.

The company ended its fiscal year with 118.1 million Disney+ subscribers, up 60% from the previous year but less than analysts’ forecast of 126.2 million. It expects 230 to 260 million subscribers by 2024, and some analysts have warned that growth is lagging and Disney could miss that target.

The pandemic caused changes to Disney’s film operations, with several big releases steered to Disney+ rather than going to movie theaters because many were closed or had limited capacity due to COVID restrictions. The studio has said recently that it is returning to theatrical releases for the rest of the year’s films.

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