Disney Falls on 'Lone Ranger' Losses; Fox Jumps on Cable-TV Growth

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Disney ( DIS)beat analyst forecasts for a 9th consecutive quarter as the world's largest entertainment company reported gains at its hugely popular ESPN network and its assortment of theme parks.

Net income increased to $1.85 billion, or $1.01 a share, from $1.83 billion, or $0.79 a share from the same period a year ago. Revenue grew 4.4% to $11.6 billion in the period ended June 29.

Disney shares were dropping in post-market trading as the Burbank, Calif.-based company said it expected The Lone Ranger to lose as much as $190 million. Disney closed on Tuesday at $67.05.

Gains at Disney's cable-TV channels led by ESPN and A&E offset decreases at ABC Family, which endured a drop in ratings. Broadcasting operating income fell $55 million to $213 million as primetime programming costs grew and advertising revenue declined.

Disney's The Lone Ranger remake, starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, was a giant disappointment for the studio. The film brought in only $185 million, forcing a write down of $150 million after it fell short of recouping $250 million in production costs. That film and Iron Man 3 were unable to replicate the success the studio saw last summer with the releases of The Avengers and Brave.

Elsewhere, 21st Century Fox ( FOX) was surging in after-hours trading after posting an operating profit increase of 64% as the media company controlled by Rupert Murdoch reported its first earnings since spinning off its publishing businesses.

Fox reported income from continuing operations of $977, or 42 cents a share, compared with $596 million, or 25 cents from the same period a year ago.

The bump in profits came from Fox's cable-TV channels which helped to offset a decline at the company's film division, slowed in part by the disastrous showing of "The Internship." Sales were slightly above expectations at $7.21 billion compared to a consensus of $7.12 billion.

-- Written by Robert Arenella in New York

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Robert Arenella.

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