The Walt Disney Company reported a 7% increase in fourth-quarter revenue thanks to a relatively strong showing at the summer box-office, along with the continued success of Frozen merchandise. Here are the key points of Thursday’s fourth-quarter earnings report.
What you need to know: Disney posted $12.4 billion in revenue in its latest quarter, up from $11.6 billion during last year’s fourth quarter. The “Mouse House” saw sales increase across a broad range of businesses, with its film studio leading the way by posting an 18% revenue bump.
The company also reported fourth-quarter profits of $1.6 billion or 87 cents a share, up 5% year-over-year. Disney’s (DIS) stock fell about 1% in after-hours trading following a day in which the company posted a new all-time high of $92 a share.
Disney’s full-year numbers for the 2014 fiscal year include a record $48.8 billion in revenue, up 8% over 2013, as well as a 22% bump in profits to $7.5 billion. CEO Bob Iger, who recently had his contract with Disney extended through 2018, noted in the company’s earnings release that this marked Disney’s fourth straight record-breaking year.
The big number: Disney’s film division led the way in 2014 despite the broader movie industry having a summer to forget at the box-office. Fourth-quarter revenue for Disney’s studio entertainment unit jumped 18% year-over-year, to $1.8 billion, as Maleficent and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy proved immune to the summer box-office drought. Guardians especially drove the division’s success by raking in more than $765 million worldwide after breaking opening-weekend records in August.
The film division actually bolstered Disney throughout 2014 with full-year revenue rising 22% to $7.3 billion on the strength of the long-lasting success of Frozen — which hit theaters a year ago and became the highest-grossing animated film of all-time — both in theaters and in home entertainment. And, the company’s film studio has no shortage of presumptive hits in the pipeline, with release dates for a whole new slate of Marvel films over the next several years announced recently. And, on Thursday, Disney announced the official title of the next installment of the Star Wars series — Star Wars: The Force Awakens — which is set to hit theaters December 2015.
What you might have missed: Speaking of Frozen, the animated hit has spawned a merchandise behemoth, with Disney saying this month that it has sold 3 million Frozen princess costumes this year. The company said on Thursday that the film’s merchandising success helped drive up full-year consumer product sales by 7%, to $1.1 billion. Fourth-quarter revenue from that division got a 9% bump, to $379 million, and Disney is definitely hoping the Frozen franchise continues to ice out competition during the upcoming holiday season. Iger told CNBC on Thursday that he expects Frozen‘s holiday sales to be “very, very hot.”
Meanwhile, Disney’s two highest-grossing sectors, its media networks and theme parks divisions, saw revenue spikes of 5% and 7%, respectively, in the fourth quarter. The media division was hurt by higher programming costs for channels like ESPN and the Disney Channels. The theme parks and resorts business got a boost from higher ticket prices at the U.S. parks, which went into effect earlier this year. Income from the company’s international resorts dipped, though, due to the poor performance of Disneyland Paris as well as increased expenses tied to a new park Disney is opening in Shanghai next year