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The Walt Disney Company today reported earnings for its first fiscal quarter ended December 27, 2014. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) for the first quarter increased 23% to $1.27 from $1.03 in the prior-year quarter.

This was yet another incredibly strong quarter for our Company, with diluted EPS up 23% driven by record revenue as well as significant growth in segment operating income, Our results once again reflect the strength of our brands and high quality content and demonstrate that our proven franchise strategy creates long-term value across all of our businesses.
Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company

Walt Disney World Resort logo

Revenue was up in Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, and Consumer Products while Studio Entertainment and Interactive were down slightly.

Media Networks revenues for the quarter increased 11% to $5.9 billion and segment operating income increased 3% to $1.5 billion. Parks and Resorts revenues for the quarter increased 9% to $3.9 billion and segment operating income increased 20% to $805 million. Consumer Products revenues for the quarter increased 22% to $1.4 billion and segment operating income increased 46% to $626 million.

Studio Entertainment revenues for the quarter decreased 2% to $1.9 billion and segment operating income increased 33% to $544 million. Interactive revenues for the quarter decreased by $19 million to $384 million and segment operating income increased by $20 million to $75 million.

There seems to be some development increases in the construction at Shanghai Disneyland; Capital expenditures increased from $0.7 billion to $1.0 billion due to higher construction spending for the Shanghai Disneyland Resort and the opening date has been pushed back about 6 months from the original plan.

Bob Iger made several comments about Disney’s plans for the Star Wars franchise. Specifically, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and how excited he is about the prospects for the movie. He also hinted at the integration of the Star Wars mythology into the parks. Perhaps Disney may be moving towards integration within Disney’s Hollywood Studios that we speculated about previously, here and here. Ideally, however, there is enough land at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida to build an entire park dedicated to the mythology of the franchise.

Bob also spoke with many media outlets. Bloomberg news has an interview where he expands on some of those thoughts, hinting at announcements related to Star Wars in the parks, but I would assume they will be held until the D23 event.

Overall, the Disney company continues to shine and deliver for Wall Street; they like what Iger continues to do for the company and the financial returns he has provide to the street. For a detailed look at the numbers or to listen to a recording of the call, check out Disney’s site here.

As a fan, and stockholder, I like that the stock continues to rise but am cautious about the developments they are bringing to the park. There have been some good features to additions like the New Fantasyland but they are countered with the loss of spontaneity through the expansion of the magic bands. Also, the continued addition of meet and greet locations at the expense of real dynamic attractions has me concerned, more than anything else. That is one of the reasons I think it is imperative they make a stand with developing a signature park dedicated to the Star Wars franchise to show that Disney can still innovate in the parks and not just Let It Go.