Yesterday the Walt Disney Company announced its second quarter profit report. (FYI, DIS FYE is October.) Yeah, profit declined a bit, 1.2%, for the whole company. But all in all revenue is up and expenses should be rising as the company attempts to restart its economy engines as the recession recedes into the distance.
One thing I found interested was how different news agencies headlined the results. Each says a little bit about what each agency thinks its audience wants to read. Bloomberg choose, “Japanese Quake, Studio Flops Curb Results” indicating a focus on international influences while the LA Times picked “‘Mars Needs Moms’ drags down Disney’s Earnings” like an industry rag. The NY Post sensationalized the results with “Disney Debacle”, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, don’t you think? China’s paper the Xinhau went the opposite direction choosing to accentuate the positive revenue growth with “Earnings Up”, perhaps because the government is now sleeping with Disney in two theme park projects (not to mention film and tv efforts). CBS Marketwatch focused on ESPN as Disney’s home run hitter with “In ESPN we Trust”. It goes without saying that the Orlando Sentinel focused on parks results almost exclusively (down, btw).
My own take is that Bob Iger has the ship pretty much on the right course. There are some obvious fixes that need to happen in the studios and parks. The games and internet side of the company really needs some careful attention since so much of the companies future is tied up there. Thankfully Zemeckis has been shown the door and word is that the necessary investment is on the way to Disney’s domestic parks.
The USA and the world is not out of this economic dip just yet. So some caution is probably called for, but now is the time to lay the groundwork for the next generation of attractions, games, family entertainment and the next literal generation of Disney fans.
Where do you want to see Disney go from here as a company?