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Disney Is Saving Money While Saving Mr. Banks

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Walt Disney's (DIS) animated feature Frozen was again the number #1 box-office attraction for the week ending Sunday.

Frozen has heated up the bitter winter cold for many movie-goers. Last weekend Frozen pulled in another $20.7 million, which cumulatively takes the Disney feature to almost $298 million in ticket sales so far. Its global gross total in ticket sales stood at $640 million. That makes it the second best money-maker among Disney animated features just behind The Lion King.

Disney must be  laughing all the way to the bank.


Another Disney feature hasn't done as well as Frozen but it warmed my heart: Saving Mr. Banks with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins, a book that will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary.

It will be interesting to see how Disney leverages that anniversary into more revenue for the company and its shareholders.

Saving Mr. Banks earned $9 million last week weekend, bringing the feature, which cost Disney about $35 million to make, a total box office take so far of $59 million in the U.S. and $66 million worldwide. Thus, Disney has recouped the cost of making the picture plus grossed an additional $31 million.

The Disney movie machine isn't the only reason the company makes money and saves it in the form of levered free cash flow. Its other operations have been very profitable and the company is striving to live up to its goal to "maximize earnings and cash flow, and to allocate capital toward growth initiatives that will drive long-term shareholder value."

As the chart below animates distinctively, shareholders have enjoyed a nice upwardly profitable year for the stock price.

DIS Chart
DIS
data by YCharts

Its trailing 12-month (TTM) free cash flow yield (the orange line) has increased to 4.91%. As of Sept. 28,  the company had levered free cash flow (TTM) of $6.76 billion and operating cash flow of nearly $9.45 billion. Its year-over year quarterly revenue growth as of that point in time (the red line above) had increased by about 6.41%.

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