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posted solid fourth-quarter numbers Thursday.

For its fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, the Burbank, Calif., media giant earned $516 million, or 25 cents a share. That's up from the year-ago $415 million, or 20 cents a share. On an adjusted basis excluding certain one-time items, latest-quarter earnings rose to 19 cents a share from 17 cents a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $7.54 billion from $7.01 billion a year ago. The numbers were broadly in line with Wall Street's expectations. The top line came in a hair shy of the Thomson First Call estimate of $7.57 billion, but per-share earnings beat their target by a penny.

The fourth-quarter gains were helped along by operating income growth at Media Networks, Parks and Resorts and Consumer Products, and partially offset by a decrease at Studio Entertainment, Disney said.

"By any measure, 2004 was an outstanding year," said CEO Michael Eisner. "All three of our core financial measures -- cash flow, earnings per share and return on invested capital -- showed strong growth, and we increased our operating income at each of our operating segments demonstrating the balanced nature of the company's performance."

Cable networks operating income grew by $146 million for the quarter, thanks to higher revenue at ESPN and lower NFL programming costs at ESPN, among other factors.

Fourth-quarter revenue at the company's parks and resorts grew 31% to $2.2 billion. Growth at the theme parks was due to items including the consolidation of Euro Disney and improvements at Disneyland, with ticket price increases and a cutback in discounting both serving to increase per-capita guest spending.

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As expected, operating income at Walt Disney World fell because of the Florida hurricanes, though the impact was somewhat offset by increased guest spending.

Studio entertainment revenue fell 14% to $1.9 billion, and operating income fell to $23 million from $205 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2003. Lower domestic home entertainment revenue was attributable to weaker-performing titles such as "Hidalgo" and "Kill Bill Vol. 2," which suffered by comparison to "Chicago" and "Bringing Down the House."

Consumer products was a bright spot, with revenue growing 10% to $618 million and operating income growing 43% to $146 million. Disney has announced plans to sell its North American Disney Store chain to

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The news comes as Wall Street looks to an improved performance from ABC, reviving trends at theme parks and a smooth transition in the executive suite to help boost the stock over the coming months.

Those factors should overcome negatives such as a hurricane-induced theme park hit and dirty laundry aired at a Delaware trial devoted to Michael Ovitz's problematic mid-1990s tenure as chief operating officer.

Late Thursday, Disney added 19 cents to $26.94.