May 25, 2022


Skillful Business Crafters

Why Disney Stock Dropped After Q4 Earnings

Walt Disney ( DIS -1.90% ) is an icon in the media and entertainment industry. And in the last few years, the company has used that advantage to established itself as a key player in the highly competitive streaming space. In this Backstage Pass video, which was recorded on Nov. 10, Motley Fool contributor Toby Bordelon discusses Disney’s disappointing fourth-quarter earnings results, and he shares his long-term outlook on the company.

Toby Bordelon: This was their fourth-quarter report, their full fiscal year report. Stock is down a little bit, 4% when last I checked or so.

The story here is they missed on revenue. They missed on earnings. They just do what people were expecting or hoping for. Things do look pretty good, though. This is not a major miss. You see that earnings per share number at $0.09, but that’s versus a big loss year over year. Revenue at $18.5 billion. Objectively, that’s a big number and pretty good and up 26%. Pretty decent, right? Not quite what people were expecting.

The big story here in terms of the business is that the parks are back. Revenue in the park segment, Brian, at 99% year over year. Now, we know why there’s a big increase: The parks were closed last year this time. And they call that out. They say, “Hey, look, this quarter all our parks are open all quarter long didn’t happen last year. And we’re seeing people get back to that.”

Operating cash flows coming in at $2.6 billion. That’s up 58%. They’re starting to get that cash engine going again, producing that cash flow. Parks, Experiences, and Product — the parks division — $5.45 billion in revenue, like I said up 99%. That’s where the big jump is. In the Media and Entertainment segment, the other segment, only up 9%, but they had a lot going on last year. We still had Disney+; we still had the TV things going. It’s not unlike growth suffered, necessarily, from the pandemic as much in that segment. Within the Media and Entertainment division, let’s look at that. Within the Media and Entertainment division; this is where TV networks live, where Disney+ lives, where the movies live, linear networks, ABC, that sort of stuff, down 4%. Direct-to-consumer: Disney+, Hulu, up 38%. You see the differences in these. You see this direct consumer is starting to become a bigger and bigger piece of this business, still operating at a loss. They call up production costs from that. Think about all the new shows they’re prepping now.

The Mandalorian lowering coming back for the third season. Boba Fett coming out. We’ve got other Star Wars shows. We’ve got Disney+ shows going on, a lot of prep and production going on there. Content, sales and licensing: This is where the theatrical business is, up only 9%. Releases weren’t quite as strong; had to delay some stuff. Return to theaters because of the delta variant. Wish that had been better, but it’s still showing promise and it’s still better than it was before getting back to that.

118 million Disney+ subscribers. That’s a good number. It’s actually lower than what people were thinking. We were hoping for 125 million. They’re seeing slowing growth. Really, that’s what’s going on here, Brian, slowing growth. We had hoped it would be better. Long term I don’t really have any concerns with this business. I can see why on the theatrical side 2022 looks much better. We are seeing slower growth in Disney+, but I think they eventually they’re going to start, that’s going to be profitable for them. And we’re going to continue to see growth there. And the parks business is probably going to continue to pick up going forward.

Objectively, I think it’s pretty good. This was a really good business during the pandemic and people cut a lot of slack for that parks division, rightfully so. Now we are perhaps seeing the bounce-back being not quite as big as we had hoped there. And we were hoping for some more continued growth in the other parts of business that we didn’t quite get. But a little bit of a disappointment. But this is still a great business and I wouldn’t not have really any long-term concerns, other than maybe talent relationships. We know what happened with Scarlett Johansson. We saw some additional fallout from that. You want to be, as the new CEO, you need to get that right. You need to make sure, at least publicly you’re not making any missteps there so you don’t have any hesitation on talent coming to work with you. I don’t see any major concerns there yet, but it’s something that you want to keep an eye on. And hopefully its growth gets back up.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.