Disney expands cost-cutting plan by $2 billion, posts better-than-expected profit

Earnings

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The “Partners” statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, at Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, at Walt Disney World, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, photographed Saturday, June 3, 2023.
Joe Burbank | Tribune News Service | Getty Images

LOS ANGELES – Disney shareholders will be looking for updates on CEO Bob Iger’s plans for the media giant as the company contends with streaming losses and a slumping share price.

The entertainment giant has suffered from lower advertising revenue, hit-or-miss theatrical blockbusters, and is still dealing with the aftermath of the writers’ strike and ongoing negotiations with Hollywood’s actors.

Still, analysts are optimistic that tackling password sharing for its streaming services, like Netflix has done, potential asset sales and investments in its parks business are the right moves for the company.

Here is what analysts expect from Disney’s fiscal fourth-quarter report:

  • EPS: 70 cents per share expected, according to LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $21.33 billion expected, according to LSEG

Investors will be looking for updates on Disney’s efforts to cut streaming losses after tightening its spending and raising prices for some plans.

In its previous quarter, Disney recorded $2.65 billion in one-time charges and impairments, dragging the company to a rare quarterly net loss. The majority of those charges were what Disney called “content impairments” related to pulling content off its streaming platforms and ending third-party licensing agreements.

Additionally, the company announced last week that it would acquire Comcast’s 33% stake in Hulu for at least $8.61 billion. Although it could end up paying more based on an appraisal process.

Disney is also feeling pressure from activist investor Nelson Peltz, who is seeking to gain more control of the company’s board. There’s also former Marvel Entertainment Chair Ike Perlmutter, who was laid off in March. Perlmutter is one of the largest single shareholders in the company and has entrusted his stake in Disney to Peltz’s Trian Fund Management.

Tune in: CNBC’s Julia Boorstin is set to interview Disney CEO Bob Iger at 4:05 p.m. ET on “Closing Bell: Overtime.”

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

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