Disney Profit Soars on 'Avengers' But 'John Carter' Haunts Company One More Time

Soft DVD Sales Undermine Revenue Growth at Studio

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Walt Disney Co., the world's largest entertainment company, posted better than expected profit in the quarter ending in June 30, buoyed by the film hit "Marvel's The Avengers." But it missed analysts' revenue projections after the film studio sold fewer DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Significant home entertainment releases in the quarter included "The Muppets" and "John Carter," the box office misfire that bedeviled Disney's previous quarter.

Disney's box office fortunes rebounded with the smash success of 'Avengers.'
Disney's box office fortunes rebounded with the smash success of 'Avengers.'

Net income jumped 24% to $1.83 billion, or $1.02 a share, from $1.48 billion, or 77 cents, a year earlier, beating the 93-cent average of 28 analysts' estimates. Revenue grew 3.9% to $11.1 billion, Disney said today in a statement, shy of the $11.3 billion analysts had expected.

"The Avengers" is the top-grossing film of 2012 worldwide and No. 3 of all time, according to researcher Box Office Mojo. The movie sparked a turnaround for Disney's studio, which posted a profit of $313 million in the quarter ended June 30, up from $49 million a year ago and reversing an $84 million loss in the prior three months because of "John Carter." Revenue was little changed at $1.63 billion.

"The Avengers," released on May 4 in the U.S., is approaching $1.5 billion in worldwide ticket revenue, according to Box Office Mojo. The same month, Disney named former Warner Bros. President Alan Horn as chairman of the film division, replacing Rich Ross, who stepped down in April.

Profit at Disney's TV networks rose 1.5% to $2.13 billion, while revenue gained 2.7% to $5.08 billion.

Revenue at the consumer division, another beneficiary of the Marvel acquisition, gained 8.3% to $742 million. Disney's interactive unit narrowed its loss of $42 million from $86 million, while revenue fell.

Disney fell 1.9% to $48.84 in extended trading. The stock gained 0.3% to $49.81 at the close in New York and has risen 33% this year, to rank fifth among the 16 stocks in the S&P 500 Media Index.

-- Bloomberg News --

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