Walt Disney Co. (DIS:US), the world’s largest entertainment company, said third-quarter profit rose 24 percent, beating estimates, as the film “Marvel’s The Avengers” approached $1.5 billion in worldwide ticket sales.
Net income jumped to $1.83 billion, or $1.02 a share, from $1.48 billion, or 77 cents, a year earlier, Burbank, California- based Disney said today in a statement (DIS:US). Sales increased 3.9 percent to $11.1 billion, missing estimates of $11.3 billion. Analysts predicted profit of 93 cents.
“Avengers,” released in the U.S. on May 4, is the top- grossing film of 2012 worldwide and No. 3 all time, according to researcher Box Office Mojo. The movie sparked a turnaround for Disney’s studio, which had a loss in the previous quarter because of the box-office disappointment “John Carter.” It also also underscored the value of Disney’s 2009 purchase of Marvel Entertainment for $4.2 billion.
The studio posted a profit of $313 million in the quarter ended June 30, up from $49 million a year ago and reversing the loss of $84 million in the prior three months. Revenue was little changed at $1.63 billion.
In May, Disney named former Warner Bros. President Alan Horn as chairman of the film division, replacing Rich Ross, who stepped down in April.
Disney rose 0.3 percent to $49.81 at the close in New York. The stock has risen 33 percent this year, to rank fifth among the 16 stocks in the S&P 500 Media Index. (S5MEDA)
(Disney plans a conference call at 5 p.m. NY time. Listen at www.disney.com/investors)
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