Networks, Parks Fuel Strong Disney 2Q

Fueled by continued growth at its media networks segment and robust results at its parks and resorts unit, The Walt Disney Co. reported strong revenue and cash flow for its fiscal second quarter.

Revenue at the media giant was up 10% to $8.7 billion and operating income rose 21% to $2.1 billion in the period. Net income for the company increased 22% to $1.1 billion (58 cents per share), handily beating analysts’ consensus estimates of 51 cents per share.

Fueling that growth was strong performance by its media networks including the ABC broadcast network, ESPN and the Disney Channel, which reported revenue growth of 5% to $3.6 billion in the period and operating income growth of 14% to $1.4 billion.

Disney’s parks and resorts unit, which was expected to be impacted by the sluggish economy, benefited from an early Easter holiday and aggressive pricing policies. Theme parks including the Walt Disney World resort, Disneyland and Disneyland Resort Paris reported revenue of $2.7 billion (an 11% increase) and operating income was up 33% to $339 million.

On a conference call with analysts, Disney CEO Bob Iger (pictured) said that the company’s continued investment in its parks and resorts and strategic pricing initiatives that allow families to spend more time at Disney hotels for less money “make us more resilient to economic downturns.”