(By Mani) Shares of Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) set a new lifetime high of $45.80 after it reported 21 percent growth in its second quarter profit as strong performance by its media networks and theme parks divisions helped offset the loss of movie "John Carter."
Disney shares ended Wednesday's regular trading session on the New York Stock Exchange at $45.02, up 72 cents or 1.63 percent after gap opening higher at $44.49. They have been trading between $28.19 and $44.50 during the past 52-weeks. The stock breached its 50-day moving average by 6 percent and topped its 200-day moving average by 13 percent.
Burbank, California-based company reported second-quarter net income of $1.14 billion or 63 cents per share, up from $942 million or 49 cents per share for the year-ago quarter. Excluding items, it earned 58 cents a share, which came in above consensus earnings estimate of 55 cents a share.
Revenue for the second quarter increased 6 percent to $9.63 billion and beat Street view of $9.56 billion.
For the past few quarters, Disney has been relying on its media networks and theme parks businesses for boosting its topline. Higher revenue from television channels especially ESPN and increased guest spending and attendance at the company's theme parks have helped Disney to record higher profits.
Quarterly revenue from media networks segment, which includes cable network ESPN and broadcaster ABC, rose 9 percent to $4.69 billion and delivered operating profit of $1.73 billion, an increase of 13.5 percent from last year.
Revenue from parks and resorts grew 10 percent to $2.90 billion, and segment operating income advanced 53 percent to $222 million.
The company said in March that it expected " John Carter" to generate an operating loss of about $200 million during the second quarter, resulting a studio segment operating loss of between $80 and $120 million for the quarter.
However, tide is turning in favor of the company's movie business as its latest movie "The Avengers," smashed domestic box office records with a $207.1 million opening weekend for a global performance of more than $702 million to date.
Over the past two years or so, Disney's multiple has probably been impacted by greater "hit or miss" uncertainty at the Studio, due to very mixed track record such as "Mars Needs Moms" and "John Carter."
However, the remarkably robust recent performance of "The Avengers" changes the "hit or miss" profile, and the beginning of a new content cycle should result in multiple expansions.
"Not only is The Avengers now a likely consistent sequel-able title, but it will likely feed momentum of existing stand-alone franchises (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America) and drive launches of other new character franchises," RBC Capital Market analyst David Bank wrote in a note to clients.