US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Disney reported that in the first three months of this year, its net profit fell 91% compared with the same period last year, amounting to $ 495 million.
The company refused forecasts for the remainder of the year and decided to suspend dividend payments: the crisis with coronavirus deprived it of $ 1.4 billion in quarterly operating profit.
On an adjusted basis, earnings per share were only 60 cents – 63 cents below last year’s level. Analysts were expecting $ 0.89 per share. It would take $ 1.6 billion to pay dividends, but the company decided that it now needs these funds more than shareholders.
According to The Washington Post, Disney incurs losses in all directions: film premieres and planned festivals are postponed, theme parks and hotels are closed at them. If last year the latter brought about $ 1.5 billion for the quarter, then this year they managed to earn only $ 639 million.
At the same time, analysts emphasize that the seemingly catastrophic result in fact was well corrected in the first months of the year, when the coronavirus had not yet gone beyond China and most of the same parks were opened. “Today’s performance is not the main thing,” explains investment banker Lloyd Gray. “The third and fourth quarters are where we will see real problems.”
At the same time, Disney executives are struggling to convince investors that “this too will pass.” “As a person who has been working here for a decent time and managed the company on really difficult days, I’m absolutely sure that we will survive this difficult period and will successfully recover,” said Bob Iger, executive chairman of the company. According to him, now Disney products are more relevant than ever for consumers: in them they find “messages of hope and optimism.”
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