It’s that time again: time for The Walt Disney Company’s Quarterly Earnings Call, with today’s focus being the fiscal second quarter 2022 financial results. If you missed the call, let’s take a few minutes to go over some of the highlights.
The call began with the company’s CEO, Bob Chapek, sharing his thoughts regarding the company’s ability to stand apart from those who might compete with it, as seen through continued strong performance at the Disney parks and the company’s growth in its Direct-to-Consumer efforts. “Our strong results in the second quarter, including fantastic performance at our domestic parks and continued growth of our streaming services—with 7.9 million Disney+ subscribers added in the quarter and total subscriptions across all our DTC offerings exceeding 205 million—once again proved that we are in a league of our own. As we look ahead to Disney’s second century, I am confident we will continue to transform entertainment by combining extraordinary storytelling with innovative technology to create an even larger, more connected, and magical Disney universe for families and fans around the world.”
Christine McCarthy, The Walt Disney Company’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, mentioned that the company is pleased with the current financial growth being experienced. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations for the quarter decreased to $0.26 from $0.50 in the prior-year quarter. Excluding certain items, diluted EPS for the quarter increased to $1.08 from $0.79 in the prior-year quarter. EPS from continuing operations for the six months ended April 2, 2022 increased to $0.89 from $0.52 in the prior-year period. Excluding certain items, EPS for the six months increased to $2.14 from $1.11 in the prior-year period.
Noteworthy takeaway points from the call can be found below. If you’d like to dig into the complete official release of today’s call, including all of the facts and figures, you’ll find it here.
- “Domestic parks and resorts are generally operating without significant COVID-19- related capacity restrictions,” while Disney Cruise Line and international parks continue to be impacted from precautionary measures due to COVID-19.
- Due in part to upcharge enhancements (ie Disney Genie and Lightning Lane), per capita spending in the domestic parks is up 40% versus 2019.
- Demand is strong for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, and Disney expects 100% demand thru Quarter 3.
- Direct-to-Consumer revenues for the quarter increased 23% to $4.9 billion and operating loss increased $0.6 billion to $0.9 billion. The increase in operating loss was due to higher losses at Disney+ and ESPN+ and lower operating income at Hulu.
- An ad-supported Disney+ subscription will launch in the U.S. by the end of the year.
- McCarthy warned that the closure of Hong Kong Disneyland for the first three weeks of the quarter and remaining closure of Shanghai Disneyland will impact Q3 results. At this time, Shanghai Disneyland does not have a reopening date.
- When asked by a Goldman Sachs rep about the pricing of Disney+, Chapek feels that the ad-driven service will allow the streaming service to reach increased subscribers and will “cascade up.” He sees it as a win-win: a lower, entry-level price while meeting advertising needs.
- A Morgan Stanley rep asked if there were any signs that would suggest deceleration on capital growth at the parks, and Chapek said that the company is continuing to see “really strong demand” at the parks. In Q2, “we’re lapping those numbers” (what they projected regarding guests utilizing Disney Genie). Chapek referred to this as their “domestic yield strategy.” Disney Genie is allowing them to not solely rely on an increase in ticket prices.
- When asked about the margins in the parks segment, McCarthy stated that they feel “really good about consumer demand” and future bookings, but she is concerned about the upcoming impact of inflation (ie. the increase cost in fuel).
- A question was asked in reference to the park reservation system. McCarthy mentioned that the system was in place to help with in-park guest experience. She made no indication that the park pass reservation system would stop being utilized.