Updated from 8:33 a.m. EDT
reported a stronger-than-expected third quarter Wednesday, thanks to much-improved studio entertainment numbers.
The Burbank, Calif., media company said it earned $1.25 billion, or 53 cents a share, for the quarter ended July 1, up from the year-ago $811 million, or 39 cents a share. Revenue grew 12% to $8.6 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were looking for the company to earn 44 cents a share on revenue of $8.6 billion.
"Disney's strong third-quarter financial results demonstrate the company's unique ability to leverage great content across our many businesses," Chief Executive Robert Iger said in a statement. "In recent months, we have released such highly successful creative product as
High School Musical
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
, all of which are having a positive impact throughout our company, from merchandise sales to the Internet to home video to our theme parks."
The company saw double-digit revenue growth across most divisions, including media networks, which owns ABC and ESPN, parks and resorts and its studio entertainment operation.
On the new media front, Disney says it is now making north of $500 million in revenue from its Internet properties, excluding revenue from online bookings for its parks and resorts packages.
Asked about interactive and mobile technologies, Iger said, "It's just the tip of the iceberg as I see it."
He added that the company is focused on making these environments better for both consumers and advertisers. Company leadership also said it would also get into gaming in a more serious fashion.
Asked about the possibility of partnering with or acquiring a large Internet company, Iger said the company has "discussed broad sweeping partnerships." But he emphasized the strength of Disney's brands, saying, "I don't think you should really think we will end up in a broad sweeping relationship."
Disney's shares were trading up $1.14, or almost 4%, to $30.12 in the premarket session.