Walt Disney Co.’s stock climbed 3.5% in extended trading Wednesday after the media giant announced earnings that beat estimates, a huge jump in streaming users and vowed to increase annual cost cuts to $7.5 billion, from $5.5 billion. “We are most focused on profitability by the end of fiscal 2024,” Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger told CNBC in an interview after the results were announced. He said Disney expects to grow free cash flow in fiscal 2024 significantly, approaching levels last achieved pre-pandemic.
reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $264 million, or 14 cents a share. After adjusting for restructuring costs and other effects, Disney reported earnings of 82 cents a share. Revenue rose 5% to $21.24 billion, from $20.15 billion a year ago. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had, on average, expected adjusted earnings of 71 cents a share on revenue of $21.37 billion. Disney reworked how it breaks out business segments. Its largest, entertainment, generated $9.52 billion in revenue, up 2% from the same quarter a year ago. Experiences took in $8.2 billion, an increase of 11% from $7.3 billion last year. Sports, which includes ESPN, generated $3.9 billion. “ESPN is the No. 1 brand on TikTok,” Iger said in a conference call with analysts late Wednesday. Iger later told analysts that the advertising market isn’t as “bad as some people think it is,” fueled by sales on Disney+ and Hulu. Disney+ added nearly 7 million subscribers globally, leading to a substantially …