How Disney Earned Record Profits This Quarter

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Walt Disney Company (DIS) has reached record profit levels in its second quarter, powered by the success of wildly-successful animated movie Frozen and superhero sequel Thor: The Dark World.

The largest global entertainment company earned $1.7 million over its March-ending quarter, 17% higher than $1.45 million a year earlier.

Net income of $1.11 a share marked the highest quarterly earnings per share in the company's history and exceeded estimates by 15 cents, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.


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Revenue of $11.65 billion surged 10.3% year over year and beat expectations by $397 million.

>>Also see: Four Times Disney's Frozen Fever Snowballed Out of Control

"We're extremely pleased with our results this quarter, delivering double-digit increases in operating income across all of our businesses," said CEO Robert Iger in a statement.

Disney's studio entertainment, a division which includes DVD and box office sales, saw the largest increase in operating income, up more than 100% year over year to $475 million. Revenue surged 35% to $1.8 billion, reflecting the popularity of Frozen and Thor compared to the near-equivalent tent-pole films Wreck-It Ralph and Oz The Great and Powerful a year earlier.

In its largest segment, media networks, revenue climbed 4% to $5.1 billion on the strength of cable channel ESPN and higher equity income at A&E Television, a network which includes reality hits such as Duck Dynasty and Storage Wars.

In its parks and resorts business, sales increased 8% to $3.6 billion, a result of increased spending on food and merchandise at Florida's Walt Disney World and higher attendance at Disneyland Resort in California. Though parks income saw healthy growth, Disney notes the shift of the Easter holiday into the third quarter did contribute an unfavorable impact on the segment's overall strength.

>>Also see: Can DreamWorks Figure Out Animation?

Burbank, Calif.-based Disney increased its funding to Shanghai Disney, the company's third theme park on the continent, to $1.4 billion from $1.1 billion. The resort is currently under construction and is expected to open its gates in 2015.

In post-market trading, shares have edged 0.7% higher to $81.60.

--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.

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