Walt Disne Q2 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

Walt Disne Q2 2010 Earnings Call Transcript
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Walt Disne (DIS)

Q2 2010 Earnings Call

May 11, 2010 4:30 pm ET

Executives

Robert Iger - Chief Executive Officer, President, Director and Member of Executive Committee

Lowell Singer - Senior Vice President of Investor Relations

James Rasulo - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Executive Vice President

Analysts

Douglas Mitchelson - Deutsche Bank AG

Jessica Reif-Cohen - BofA Merrill Lynch

Alan Gould - Soleil Securities Group, Inc.

Imran Khan - JP Morgan Chase & Co

John Janedis - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

Anthony DiClemente - Barclays Capital

Douglas Creutz - Cowen and Company, LLC

Tony Wible - Janney Montgomery Scott LLC

David Miller - Caris & Company

David Bank - RBC Capital Markets Corporation

Jason Helfstein - Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.

Tuna Amobi - S&P Equity Research

Richard Greenfield - Pali Capital

Ben Swinburne - Morgan Stanley

Presentation

Operator

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Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Second Quarter 2010 Walt Disney Earnings Conference Call. My name is Amity, and I'll be your operator for today. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Lowell Singer, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations. Please proceed, sir.

Lowell Singer

Thank you, Amity. Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the Walt Disney Company's Second Quarter 2010 Earnings Call. Our press release was issued a few minutes ago. It's now available on our Web site at www.disney.com/investors. Today's call is also being webcast, and the webcast will also be available on our Web site. And after the call, a replay and a transcript will be available there as well.

Joining me in Burbank for today's call are Bob Iger, Disney's President and Chief Executive Officer; and Jay Rasulo, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Bob's going to lead off, followed by Jay. And then we'll be happy to take your questions.

So with that, let me turn the call over to Bob, and we'll get started.

Robert Iger

Thank you very much, Lowell, and good afternoon. Let me start off by saying how thrilled we are with the global success of Iron Man 2, which to date has grossed $334 million in global box office. It makes me even more enthusiastic about the great things Marvel and Disney can do together to build the value of the Marvel brand, its array of great characters and about our upcoming Marvel movies, Thor and Captain America.

Our strong second quarter performance was driven in part by Disney's Alice in Wonderland. This visually stunning and highly entertaining motion picture has, to date, grossed over $962 million in global box office, making it Disney's second highest performing film ever, both U.S. and worldwide, and the number seven movie of all time. And we're excited, too, about our upcoming summer slate, which includes Prince of Persia, Toy Story 3 and Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Under the new studio leadership, a focus on franchise films, such as Toy Story 3, is an important part of our growth strategy. And as we've discussed before, when a franchise film is successful at Disney, many of our businesses benefit, driving superior returns.

With sequels of Cars, Pirates and Monsters, Inc. arriving over the next two fiscal years, the opportunities to create additional value from these properties are tremendous. At our Media Networks, we're continuing to build on our strengths. ESPN has invested in the world's most exciting sports events and presents them in an integrated and engaging way. The NBA Finals are a great example of how ESPN weaves live sports, great reporting and up-to-the-minute stats into a compelling, cross-platform package that serves both consumers and advertisers. We're planning the same for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in South Africa. ESPN's innovation and emphasis on quality continue to drive strong ratings, and I'm particularly proud of the work ESPN has done in digital media.

We are just a week away from the announcement of ABC's fall primetime schedule. I'm confident in the team's long-term track record and its ability to develop great new shows, like the current Wednesday night comedy block, and to generate new excitement along around long-standing series such as Dancing with the Stars, Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. With the scatter market strong, we are anticipating a very good upfront market.

We're also pleased with the creative strengths of Disney Channel and ABC Family, which continue to perform exceptionally well with great original programming. Disney Channel has new hits in Phineas and Ferb and Good Luck Charlie, while Disney XD is building share among its target audience of boys. Both are international presence that's bringing the Disney brand into people's homes throughout the world.

We're also developing a Marvel block of programs for our XD channel. For its part, ABC family is doing an excellent job of winning over Millennials, a particularly sought-after demographic. At our Parks and Resorts, over the next two years, a magnificent new resort will open in Hawaii, two new cruise ships will set sail and expansion of Disneyland Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland are coming along nicely.

The rollout of our additions and improvements to Disney's California Adventure begins next month with World of Color, an exciting nighttime spectacular. The Disney Dream, the first of our new ships, will embark on its maiden voyage in the early part of calendar 2011. Together, these investments and our continuing emphasis on providing guests distinctive, high-quality experiences should serve Disney well as the economy improves, allowing a return to more normal pricing. Jay will elaborate later.

Our strategy is to create the best in branded entertainment; to use technology, both to make that entertainment more compelling and to reach more people; and to expand Disney's presence and promising global markets. But we've also taken steps to improve our operational agility and to challenge long-standing business models in order to better serve consumers.

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