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Disney Doubles Profit

ESPN and 'Pirates of the Caribbean' boost results.

Walt Disney

(DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report

said after Thursday's closing bell that its fourth-quarter earnings more than doubled on strength from its film business, media networks and theme parks.

The media giant said it earned $782 million, or 36 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from the $379 million, or 19 cents a share, last year.

The results beat expectations on Wall Street. Analysts, on average, predicted earnings of 34 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.

Disney's revenue rose 14% to $8.78 billion from last year's $7.73 billion. Analysts expected a top line of $8.69 billion.

"Disney had a spectacular year, posting record revenues, record net income, and record cash flow," Disney said in a press release.

Revenue from Disney's cable networks rose 16% for the quarter, while operating income from that unit increased 22%, thanks to a particularly strong performance from its ESPN network.

In broadcasting, ABC posted a 1% gain in revenue and a 40% decline in profitability. That business was hurt by the high cost of rolling out Disney's branded mobile phone services and an FCC license impairment charge.

ABC enjoyed a tailwind this year thanks to high ratings and DVD sales resulting from its hit dramas like



Grey's Anatomy

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, and

Desperate Housewives

, as well as higher license fees for



Revenue from Disney's film business rose 33% to $2 billion for the quarter, and its operating income increased $527 million to $214 million. It benefited from the smash hit

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

as well as

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe


Revenue from Disney's parks and resorts rose 8% to $2.5 billion, while operating income increased 28% to $396 million.

"Disney's great run continues with this performance, and that should extend into the next few quarters as well," says Peter Jankovskis with Oakbrook Investments. "The value of this business really depends on its ability to leverage its entertainment brands, and the success of their recent shows and movies has allowed them to do that very well."

Shares of Disney closed up 48 cents, or 1.4%, to $33.58 in regular trading Thursday.