Tomorrowland at night

Disney Loses Money In Q4 But Beats Revenue Expectations

The Walt Disney Company reported its financial results today for its fourth quarter.  It wasn’t great, but it was better than expected.  Sometimes, beating the expectations of investors is the key to success with a large corporation like Disney.  Plus there were some bright spots in the company’s financial performance.

Let’s take a look:

The Bad News

Disney management expects Disneyland to remain closed until at least January 2021.  Given the reopening requirements from the state of California, the west coast parks could be closed longer than that.

Overall, the company lost $710 million for the fourth quarter.  No company can exist in the long-term by losing money, but this loss was unusual for the company, and it was explainable: the coronavirus has impacted Disney and all its peer companies.

The Good News

While no company wants to lose money, there were bright spots in the financial results.

The company had revenue of $14.71 billion, vs. $14.20 billion expected by financial analysts.  It is good news when a company brings in more revenue than Wall Street expects.

Disney projects that coronavirus-related costs could reach $1 billion in fiscal 2021.  While that is a huge number, it is down significantly from recent earnings reports.  The company had $3.1 billion coronavirus-related costs in fiscal Q4 and a whopping $7.4 billion coronavirus-related costs for the year.

Disney+ subscriber counts continue to rise.  The service now has 73.7 million subscribers, up from 60.5 million in early August. Disney’s other subscription services are growing as well.  ESPN+ subscribers more than doubled to 10.3 million, and Hulu subscribers increased 28% to 36.6 million.

Disney's streaming services are growing very nicely.
Disney’s streaming services are growing very nicely.

Disney management announced that Disney World park capacity has increased from 25% to 35%.

Sad to hear Disney lost $700M in the fourth quarter?