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The Associated Press August 5, 2010, 12:30PM ET

Analyst: Disney park price increase is good sign

The Walt Disney Co.'s decision to raise park ticket prices this week bodes well for its upcoming earnings report, an analyst said Thursday.

Price increases for Disneyland and Disney World range from 3.7 percent to 9.6 percent, said Tony Wible of Janney Capital Markets. For instance, the price of a one-day, one-park adult ticket to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., is rising to $82 from $79, starting Thursday.

That indicates that park revenues are holding up, despite building economic pressure and no discounting, Wible wrote in a morning report. Wible believes this suggests that Disney will report stronger-than-expected earnings for its fiscal third quarter next Tuesday.

He had estimated that park revenue will be up 1.7 percent from a year ago to $530 million, reflecting a 3.1 percent decrease in attendance but a 7 percent increase in spending per guest.

"These estimates now appear too conservative," Wible wrote.

Wible is forecasting earnings of 60 cents per share for the latest quarter, 2 cents above the average analyst forecast as polled by Thomson Reuters. His revenue estimate is $9.26 billion, below the average forecast of $9.37 billion.

Disney shares rose 15 cents to $34.98 in midday trading.

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