Full Recap: Disney’s Q3 Earnings Surpass Expectations, Stock Jumps, Big Announcements

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I want to start out by saying that I cover the Walt Disney Company’s business news, along with Disney Theme Parks, for The DisInsider. This last month I lost my father to lung cancer and I have been busy with his funeral and grieving. The DisInsider team has been so kind to me and giving me all the space that I needed. But, I am starting to get back into writing for the site and look forward to bringing you guys more business and theme park news and analysis.

Shifting gears, today the Walt Disney Company released their 3rd Quarter Earnings Report for investors, followed, as always, but a presentation of the information via phone conference with investors and the public.

The report is full of all sorts of complicated jargon, facts, and figures (and a little spin here and there), but the main takeaway is that this was a very strong quarter for Disney, much stronger than industry analysts had forecasted.

Let’s look at the numbers:

  • Disney’s Earnings per share: 80 cents (forecasted expectation was 55 cents()
  • Disney’s Revenue: $17.02 billion (forecasted expectation was $16.76 billion)
  • Disney+ Paid Subscriber Count: 116 million (forecasted expectation was 114.5 million)
  • Across Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, Disney report 174 million subscribers

Other Announcements:

  • Disney’s theme parks saw profit for the first time since the pandemic
  • Disney World and Disneyland have been hitting capacity limits on a regular basis since the parks reopened
  • Disney expects to be fully staffed by the end of 2021
  • The hybrid release option of theaters and Disney+ Premier Access will not go away completely, they will still keep it as an option moving forward
  • Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be released exclusively in theaters, with a 45 day window, before being moved to Disney+
  • November 12th, 2021, marks Disney+ 2 year birthday. To celebrate they will be holding an event called “Disney Plus Day” that will celebrate the successful two years and announce upcoming projects.
  • The Delta variant does not appear to be affecting guest behavior as future bookings to the theme parks surpass the very high level of guest bookings this last quarter.
  • Disney Parks will be releasing their new “Genie” program soon. This has been in the works for awhile, with some people speculating if it was still going to happen. The Genie service will help guests plan their days in the parks more efficiently and effectively.
  • Disneyland’s Magic Key annual pass program has been well received in their research off guest satisfaction.
  • Free Guy will also maintain its theatrical only release. This is because this film came to them through the Fox purchase, so its distribution agreement was set prior to Disney owning the film.
  • Disney wants to use the Shang Chi theatrical only release, with 45 day theatrical run, followed by Disney+ exclusive, as a test to see if this is another option they have moving forward. They will maintain the other options: Direct to Disney+ for free (like Luca and Soul), direct to Disney+ with Premier Access fee (like Mulan), hybrid theatrical and Disney+ same day and date release (like Black Widow, Jungle Cruise, and Cruella), direct to theaters with a standard release schedule (how they used to release movies), and now this fifth option, theatrical only release, with a shortened 45 day window, then to Disney+ This will give the company many options for films in the future.

This was an absolutely fantastic earnings report from the Walt Disney Company. The after hours trading showed a huge spike in Disney’s stock price. It was up over 5% for most of the hour, the real test will be when the traditional trading hours open tomorrow.

To keep up with news from all corners of the Walt Disney Company (Movies, Theme Parks, Disney+, ESPN, ABC, Live-Action, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, FX, Hulu, Disney Animation, Live Theater, Freeform) and our personal reviews and analysis, please keep checking back at TheDisInsider.com and follow us on twitter at @TheDisInsider and myself, Sean Nyberg, at @SeanNyberg.

It feels good to be back.

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