Broadcasting revenues up 28%, income leaps by $122 million. Earnings per share increased 19% from the prior-year quarter.
The Walt Disney Co. today reported earnings for the second quarter that included a 3% increase in revenues and a 12% increase in net income over the same quarter of 2005.
Diluted earnings per share increased 19% to 37 cents, compared to 31 cents in the prior-year quarter.
The company’s media networks segment had second-quarter revenues of $3.6 billion, an increase of 18% and operating income increased 20% to $969 million, driven by strong performance of its broadcasting division.
Broadcasting operating income increased $122 million to $160 million for the quarter due primarily to improved performance at the ABC Television network and ABC Television Production and Distribution, partially offset by investments in new initiatives at the Internet group. Disney said the growth at the network “was primarily due to increased primetime advertising revenues resulting from strong upfront sales and continued strength in ratings and higher rates. Advertising revenues also increased due to the Super Bowl and the timing of Bowl Championship Series games, although this increase was essentially offset by related programming and production expenses. The increase at Television Production and Distribution was driven by higher third-party license fees for Scrubs, as this series entered its fifth season of network television, and increased international sales of Touchstone Television dramas. The increase in international sales was primarily due to an increase in the number of episodes delivered, including a number of new drama series.”
At Disney’s Cable Networks division, operating income increased $41 million to $809 million, primarily due to growth at ESPN which was driven by higher affiliate revenues from increased contractual rates. Disney Channel and ABC Family also experienced “modest profit growth,” according to the company.
“Disney’s ongoing commitment to creative and operational excellence is evident in our strong second-quarter results,” said Robert A. Iger, Disney president/CEO. “At the same time, the strategic initiatives we pursued during the quarter help position us for future creative success, new opportunities to reach consumers with our products and long-term value creation for our shareholders.”