Broadcast and theme parks will be on the upswing and studio entertainment the downswing when Disney ( DIS) reports quarterly earnings Monday evening.Beyond those trends, this week promises two days of information overload as analysts assemble in Orlando, Fla., for presentations from Disney management. Starting with a 1 p.m. gloss on Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration, analysts -- and anyone else who chooses to listen in at
Within those numbers, cash-flow growth is expected to be heaviest at the company's media networks and theme park units, while the movie division is expected to decline given the year-earlier home video releases of Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean and Freaky Friday, among other movies. Credit Suisse First Boston's William Drewry, for example, expects broadcast networks EBITA to rise 34% from the December 2003 quarter to $461 million, led by 43% EBITA growth in the broadcasting business. Parks and resorts EBITA, pro forma for the inclusion of Euro Disney results, will be up 29% to $307 million, CSFB forecasts, and consumer products EBITA will be up 23% to $291 million. Studio entertainment EBITA will fall 68% to $148 million, CSFB forecasts. (Drewry has an outperform rating on Disney and a $40 price target; his firm has done investment banking for Disney within the past 12 months.) The analyst meeting will be a bigger event for Disney than the actual earnings release, writes Drewry, who expects the company to talk about new growth opportunities ranging from business in Asia to animation initiatives, including the sequels to Disney-distributed Pixar movies under the aegis of the companies' current alliance. "The ABC network is on a roll and will get attention in terms of sustainability and profit upside potential (we believe several hundred million dollars)," writes Drewry. Disney's shares, still on the rebound from last August's lows of $20.88, fell 7 cents Friday to $28.23.