On Thursday, The Walt Disney Company reported earnings for its second fiscal quarter which ended April 3, 2021. With overall revenue down by 2.5 billion to $3.173 billion (was $5.66 billion last year), Disney continues to experience the noticeable impacts of the pandemic.
Here are some noteworthy takeaways from the call. You can see the official release HERE.
- One of the most interesting pieces of information comes on the heels of the new CDC guidance that fully vaccinated people can resume normal activities without masks or physical distancing. While some exceptions were given such as public transportation and private businesses, Bob Chapek made note of this new guidance as "big news" for Disney. Although he didn't say Disney would remove mask mandates from its theme parks soon, he mentioned that wearing a mask in the Florida heat could be "daunting" and hinted towards a more pleasant experience for the future.
- It was also recognized that following CDC guidance and state recommendations, Walt Disney World has already started raising its theme park capacity.
- Parks & Experiences had an operating loss of $406 million, higher than the original estimate of $369 million. This is largely due to Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and other closures throughout the quarter.
- 80% of furloughed cast members who have been asked to come back have returned.
- Disneyland was able to recall more than 10,000 furloughed cast members and retrain them according to California's health and safety requirements.
- It was also suggested that there is a strong growing demand for guests to visit Disneyland and Walt Disney World in the current quarter.
- The end of Disneyland's Annual Pass program was discussed in reference to the ability to create a new loyalty program that "isn't governed by legacy." Chapek cited the need to improve the guests' experience while also providing an adequate return to shareholders.
- Disney+ has amassed 103.6 million subscribers but still fell short of the projected 110.3 million. Despite this, they are still on track to reach 230-260 million subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024.
- 20th Century's Free Guy and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be released with a 45-day exclusive theatrical release.
You can catch a recording of Pete Werner's live stream below to discuss his thoughts on the earnings call.