According to Deadline and official reports from The Walt Disney Company, a mixed third quarter for 2023 has seen some success, reduced losses, and a few disappointments overall.
The Walt Disney Company Third Quarter 2023
Direct-to-consumer losses shrank while Parks and Resorts revenue rose compared with the previous quarter. While Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort did not have stand-out performances, the heightened revenue was assisted by the international parks and Disney Cruise Line. Overall, Parks & Resorts are up 13% — 94% internationally and 4% domestically (mostly attributable to Disneyland).
Disney CEO Bob Iger shared some initial thoughts on the performance:
Our results this quarter are reflective of what we’ve accomplished through the unprecedented transformation we’re undertaking at Disney to restructure the company, improve efficiencies, and restore creativity to the center of our business. In the eight months since my return, these important changes are creating a more costeffective, coordinated, and streamlined approach to our operations that has put us on track to exceed our initial goal of $5.5 billion in savings as well as improved our direct-to-consumer operating income by roughly $1 billion in just three quarters. While there is still more to do, I’m incredibly confident in Disney’s long-term trajectory because of the work we’ve done, the team we now have in place, and because of Disney’s core foundation of creative excellence and popular brands and franchises.
At the time of publishing, Disney stock closed out the day at $87.49 per share, though has risen to $90 after hours. This is about $10 under the stock price increase from the last earnings call back in May.
The total third quarter company revenue of $22.3 billion is a slight decrease of 2%, slightly shy of forecasts. Disney’s revenues for their direct-to-consumer products — Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ — increased by 9 percent to $5.5 billion dollars, though their operating loss nearly broke even. Disney+ subscribers have dropped to 146.1 million, below the 154.8 million goal, though core members of the service rose by 1 percent.
There has certainly been tumult in the third quarter, with dramatic shifts and disappointing performances at the box office impacting Disney as a whole. CFO Christine McCarthy stepped down from her position while Iger’s public perception was damaged after calling demands from striking actors and writers “not realistic.” This quarter’s earnings call is the first without the former CFO.
While “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and “Haunted Mansion” have not been financially stellar, other films such as “Elemental” have made a surprise comeback — while Iger has also discussed opportunities to “turbocharge” theme park growth.
In Florida, there’s an ongoing legal battle with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the governance of the area in which Walt Disney World is located, though Iger and the company are continuing to pursue the matter in court, with the CEO himself stating it is “not our goal to be engaged in a culture war.”
The Walt Disney Company in Q2
Previously, The Walt Disney Company announced approximately $21.8 billion in revenue during the second quarter of 2023. Their adjusted earnings per share (EPS) was $0.93, a decrease from $1.08 in last year’s quarter. This was for the period of January 1 to April 1, 2023. Disney Parks reported $7.78 billion in revenue during quarter two and Disney+ lost 4 million subscribers (but the financial performance of streaming did improve, as Iger said).
Throughout the second quarter, and continuing until the end of May, Disney completed three major rounds of layoffs in an aim to cut coasts within their media operations.
CEO Bob Iger has extended his return as leader of the company through 2026 and brought back former colleagues Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs to advise on television strategy moving forward. In a recent major upheaval of their TV properties, ESPN will now be launching a sportsbook with PENN Entertainment, officially becoming a major player in legal sports betting.
Here’s a selection of major stories from today’s earnings call compiled below:
- Disney Parks & Resorts Reports 13% Increase & $8.3 Billion in Revenue for Third Quarter 2023
- Direct-to-Consumer Losses Lessen, Overall Disney+ Subscriber Count Drops While Core Members Rise 1% in Third Quarter 2023
- International Disney Parks Shine While Galactic Starcruiser Closure & Lower Attendance Cause Domestic Destinations to Languish
- Disney CEO Bob Iger Refuses to Speculate on Sale of Entire Company
- Disney+ & Hulu Increasing Premium Plan Cost, New Ad-Free Bundle of Both Coming to the U.S. Soon
- Disney Announces Sale of Stake in DraftKings Just One Day After Revealing ‘ESPN BET’
- Disney CEO Bob Iger Says He’s ‘Personally Committed’ to Ending SAG-AFTRA & WGA Strikes