Walt Disney Q1 Earnings: What to Expect

Disney reports earnings this week, and while its streaming services have flourished, the company’s attractions sector is still suffering.

Different areas of Walt Disney’s (NYSE: DIS) business have either been helped or hindered by social distancing restrictions due to the pandemic. For example, while the entertainment giants streaming service has gained in popularity, its larger and more profitable parks, entertainment, and experiences business have suffered greatly. 

In Disney’s last earnings report, the company stated that its streaming service Disney+ had topped 100 million subscribers just 16 months after its launch in late 2019. This growth puts Disney+ on the streaming map and cemented itself as a real competitor to Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX). However, Netflix recently reported disappointing user growth — the company only added 3.98 million paid subscribers in Q1, sharply below the 6.3 million estimated. A slowdown in growth was to be expected as lockdown restrictions ease, but Netflix’s lower than predicted user growth should have Disney shareholders prepare for a similar fall on Thursday’s call.  

When will Disney report its first-quarter earnings?

Walt Disney will report its first quarter earnings for 2021 on Thursday, 13th May after market close.

How can I listen to Disney’s earnings? 

To access the report and financial statements for the quarter, all you need to do is visit the Walt Disney’s Investor Relations page. 

What to expect from Disney’s first quarter earnings: 

Earnings and Revenue: Analysts expect Disney to hit revenue of $16.1 billion in Q1, down 10% from the year-ago quarter. Earnings per share are estimated to come in at $0.28, down over 53% from the same time last year.

Park and attractions sales: Investors expect the pandemic to continue having a negative impact on the House of Mouse’s financial performance for the first-quarter as the company’s theatrical, home entertainment releases, advertising market, products, and theme park ticket sales have all been hit hard. However, parks and attractions revenue are slowly starting to look up. Disney’s California theme parks reopened last month, suggesting profitability is back on the horizon following three quarters of operating losses. Shareholders will likely ask Disney questions about further sections of these business reopening and what the company’s plans are. 

Disney+: Even though users are spending less time in front of screens due to lockdown restrictions easing, Disney+ might have more room to grow, compared to Netflix, as a new player in the streaming space. Disney bosses said back in March that the service should reach 260 million global subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024, so investors will want to see the company making on its promise to hit this target on Thursday’s earnings call. In addition, Disney’s streaming unit is expected to become profitable by the end of 2024 too after its direct-to-consumer business, containing Disney+, lost $2.8 billion last year.

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