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Disney stock retreats as streaming disappointment overshadows earnings boost

Quarterly earnings beat expectations but streaming subscribers fell short of forecasts.

The Walt Disney Company  - Walt Disney stock retreats as streaming disappointment overshadows earnings boost
Disney said that forward park reservations are 'strong'

Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) stock is in retreat in Friday’s pre-market as slower streaming numbers put a dampener on quarterly results which otherwise presented reasons for positivity.

The results beat expectations with earnings marked at US$901mln on US$15.61 of sales, and earnings per share reported at 79 cents vs market consensus that was pitched at 26 cents.

Disney’s theme parks and products division, which is re-emerging after Covid-closures, saw US$3.17bn of sales smashing expectations of US$1.24bn with the company noting that consumer products and video game licensing driving the performance.

At the same time, Disney announced a further expansion in park capacities as its ongoing reopening continues.

“Forward-looking bookings for park reservations at both of our domestic parks are strong, demonstrating the strength of our brands as well as growing travel optimism as case counts decline, vaccine distribution ramps, and government restrictions loosen,” chief financial officer Christine McCarthy said.

Disney’s streaming numbers disappointed investors, as Netflix stats did in April, with Disney+ subscribers totalling 103.6mln some 6mln users shy of Wall Street expectations. It comes after Disney previously flagged it had passed 100mln subs in March, at around the same time that new Marvel Studios content was released on the platform.

Adding Hulu and ESPN+ subscribers saw the tally reach 158.8mln.

The company generated some US$4bn of revenue in its streaming business, a shade beneath expectations.

After closing Thursday at US$178.34, up 0.28%, the stock fell away in out of hours dealing – ahead of Friday’s open Disney is down 3.8% at US$171.57.

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