Led largely by slowing Disney+ subscriptions, The Walt Disney Company missed its earnings and sales estimates as announced in today’s Q4 2021 Earnings Call!
Overall revenue on the quarter came in at $18.53 billion, slightly below expected estimates of $18.79 billion. Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, however, saw a profitable Q4 by reporting $640 million in profit, driven largely by continued reopening efforts across the parks and Disney Cruise Line. Revenue for this division in Q4 was $5.5 billion as compared to $2.7 billion in 2020. Shares for The Walt Disney Company declined in after-hours trading on Wednesday due to these earnings reports and disappointing streaming growth.
“This has been a very productive year for The Walt Disney Company, as we’ve made great strides in reopening our businesses while taking meaningful and innovative steps in Direct-to-Consumer and at our Parks, particularly with our popular new Disney Genie and Magic Key offerings,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “As we celebrate the two-year anniversary of Disney+, we’re extremely pleased with the success of our streaming business, with 179 million total subscriptions across our DTC portfolio at the end of fiscal 2021 and 60% subscriber growth year-over-year for Disney+. We continue to manage our DTC business for the long-term, and are confident that our high-quality entertainment and expansion into additional markets worldwide will enable us to further grow our streaming platforms globally.”
Here are some noteworthy takeaways from the call. You can see the official release HERE.
- Disney+ added 2.1 million new subscribers in Q4 2021, bringing its total subscriber count to approximately 118.1 million. While this number is in line with Disney’s estimates and represents a 1.8% growth from Q3, it is below Wall Street’s expectations which estimated nearly 125 million subscribers by the end of the quarter and fiscal year.
- Chapek combated these concerns by stating, “I want to reiterate that we remain focused on managing our DPC business for the long term. Not quarter to quarter, and we’re confident that we are in the right trajectory to achieve the guidance that we provided at last year’s investor’s day reaching between 230 and 260 million paid Disney plus subscribers globally by the end of fiscal year 2024 and with Disney plus achieving profitability that same year.”
- The company is extremely excited to celebrate the two year anniversary of Disney+ this Friday – November 12th, 2021 with its inaugural “Disney Plus Day”. This includes special perks for subscribers within the theme parks.
- In discussing sports, Chapek hinted that the company was moving towards a greater presence in online sports betting. “We do believe that sports betting is a very significant opportunity for the company. It is all driven by the consumer. It is driven by the consumer particularly the younger consumer that will replenish the sports fans over time. They desire to have gambling as part of their sports experience.”
- Q4 2021 represented the first full quarter since the pandemic began with all Disney Parks and the entirety of Disney Cruise Line reopened.
- Disney Genie has seen great success since launch with Disney reporting that nearly one-third of park guests have been upgrading to Disney Genie+ when visiting Walt Disney World.
- Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser has virtually sold out for the first four months of voyages.
- Attendance at Walt Disney World was up double digits versus Q3 2021, and Disneyland attendance continuing to increase.
- Disney expects that social distancing restrictions to remain in place for at least the first half of fiscal year 2022.