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Disney Wants Quarter Forgotten

Disney said revenue rose 3% from a year ago to $7.73 billion, compared with estimates of $7.87 billion.

In after-hours trading, shares of Disney were off 51 cents, or 2%, to $25.48.

The main reason for Disney's lower earnings was its studio entertainment segment, where revenue slid 20% to $1.5 billion and the operating loss totaled $304 million before options expenses, reversing a small profit in the year-ago period. Disney blamed declining home-video sales, partially offset by an improvement in domestic theatrical motion picture distribution and lower film cost write-downs.

"The decline in worldwide home entertainment was due to an overall decline in unit sales resulting from a lower performing slate of current year titles, including a decline in the ratio of home video unit sales to the related total domestic box-office results for feature films," the company said in a statement.

At Disney's media networks division, revenues increased 16% from last year to $3.4 billion and segment operating income adjusted to exclude stock option expense rose 47% to $659 million.

In cable networks, third-quarter operating income excluding options rose 14% to $594 million, driven by growth at ESPN, partially offset by a decline at ABC Family Channel due to higher programming expenses. In its broadcasting division, operating income adjusted to exclude stock options rose by $140 million to $65 million primarily due to improved performance at Television Production and Distribution and the ABC Television Network.

At Disney's parks and resorts division, quarterly revenue rose 9% to $2.4 billion and segment operating income adjusted for options rose 14% to $321 million.

Meanwhile, the company expects to get a boon from deferred revenue from affiliate deals by ESPN and other cable channels in the second half of next year, Staggs said. And the company's expenses should subside somewhat in the second half as it laps the opening costs related to its new Hong Kong-based theme park, he said.

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