Mickey and Minnie Mouse are seen in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Hong Kong Disneyland Park.
Photograph by Mark Ashman via Getty Images
By Lucinda Shen
May 10, 2016

Investors have high hopes for Walt Disney ahead of its second-quarter earnings Tuesday.

Over the past few months, the entertainment giant had enormous success on the silver screen, with titles including Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Zootopia. While the former became the highest-grossing domestic film of all time in January, the latter is the highest grossing film of 2016, reporting over $950 million in ticket sales as of May 8.

That bodes well for Disney’s film lineup for the next two years. Its studios have already released box office hits such as the Jungle Book and Captain America: Civil War, the latter of which became the fifth best domestic opening weekend of all time. Highly anticipated movies in the pipeline also include Finding Dory and Marvel titles such as Doctor Strange later this year.

Meanwhile, one of Disney’s most dependable areas for revenue—its parks and resorts, are not expected to disappoint. Disney World in Orlando is expected to benefit from “robust travel trends,” according to Nomura Securities. Disney’s second-largest sector is also expected to hit another milestone on June 16 when Disneyland Shanghai opens. Though the park won’t open for weeks, news that thousands have already flooded Disneyland Shanghai’s resorts, shops, and restaurants has boosted investor sentiment, as first reported by Bloomberg.

But there is a looming shadow: cable, Disney’s biggest segment. Sports network ESPN has been losing viewers as consumers cut down on cable in favor of streaming. Yet Disney has yet to present a viable turnaround plan. Piper Jaffray analyst Stan Meyers also noted that ratings at another of Disney’s big networks, ABC, fell roughly 15% in the quarter.


Meyers noted that other points could drag on earnings: Disney shifted The Force Awakens’ online viewing sales to March 15 from April 1, and a $75 million write-down related to the box office flop, The Finest Hours.

Wall Street analysts are expecting Disney to post revenue of $12.31 billion—a 6% rise for the same quarter a year earlier—on earnings of $1.40 per share, up 13%, in the three months ending March 16.


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