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Bob Iger to Announce Q1 Disney Earnings as Returned CEO

The Walt Disney Company is reporting earnings tomorrow (May 10) for the first time in which Bob Iger is back at the helm for the entire quarter.

The chief executive who served from 2005 to 2020 replaced his predecessor, Bob Chapek, in November. While Iger led the most recent earnings announcement and call, which covered the period from October to December, Chapek was in the CEO seat for part of that time. This upcoming earnings will be the first that investors and analysts can attribute the numbers to Iger’s return.

Disney is expected to report growing revenue and net income, resulting from an increase in streaming subscriptions and consumers’ continued return to parks post-Covid, according to Investopedia. The company is expected to post $21.9 billion in revenue over the January to March period, Investopedia reported. The figure is up 13.6 percent from the same time last year. Disney’s net income is also expected to increase year-over-year to $1.29 billion, up 171 percent. While the expected increases can’t be totally ascribed to Iger, they do suggest his return had a positive impact on the company’s balance sheet.

Boomerang CEOs tend to be bad for business, as they raise questions about corporate governance. Since Iger’s return, activist investor Nelson Peltz waged a proxy battle against the company and Iger announced massive layoffs. But shareholders, employees and Hollywood also appear to prefer Iger to his predecessor. Disney posted better-than-expected financial stats when Iger reassumed the CEO position, following results that missed the expectations of analysts earlier last year with Chapek in charge.

Is Disney’s streaming on the rise?
Disney’s streaming platforms, including Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu, haven’t yet turned a profit. But “peak losses are now behind us,” Disney’s CFO Christine McCarthy said on an earnings call in November.

When the company reports earnings tomorrow, analysts expect Disney’s streaming business to see revenue growth of 15.8 percent year-over-year, or to $5.68 billion, according to Investopedia. They also expect Disney+ to increase its subscriber count to 163 million, up 1.2 million from December.

Disney+ has one of the highest subscriber counts of all streaming platforms. Netflix leads with 231 million. Amazon doesn’t report data around its streaming platform Amazon Prime Video, but it said its Prime service has 200 million users, all of which have free access to the streaming service. Disney+ follows, but the company’s combined subscriber count across its three services totals to 235 million, topping the charts.

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