LOS ANGELES (AP) — Analysts will be looking to see if a wave of recent investment in parks and resorts generated meaningful returns when The Walt Disney Co. reports its third-quarter earnings after the market closes Tuesday.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Higher revenue and profits across Disney's parks sector.
The company is in the midst of a surge in investments in its parks that should exceed $3 billion in the fiscal year through September.
It opened a revamped Disney California Adventure theme park in late June; launched the Disney Fantasy cruise ship in March; opened the first phase of an expansion of Fantasyland in Orlando, Fla., in April; opened an expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland in November; and opened its Aulani resort in Hawaii in August.
Analysts are looking for a positive financial impact as well as any sign that the capital spending is beginning to tail off, possibly freeing up cash for dividends and share buybacks.
Attention will also be focused on what Disney says about the advertising market related to its TV networks such as ESPN and ABC. Ad revenue growth at media company peers has been slowing in the April-June period compared to January-March. Fees from TV distributors are expected to grow steadily.
Disney CEO Bob Iger may also confirm comments of other media company executives that the unexpectedly big audiences for the Olympics has caused some weakness in the market for last-minute TV commercial buys as advertisers flock to the heavily watched broadcasts.
WHY IT MATTERS: Disney participates in a wide swath of economic activity that relies on consumer spending on fun, from movie tickets to vacations. It also earns advertising revenue at TV networks that reflect the health of other companies. The company's ability to manage these diverse businesses amid tepid economic growth is of interest to consumers and investors alike.
WHAT'S EXPECTED: Disney is expected to report adjusted earnings of 93 cents per share on revenue of $11.31 billion.
LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: The company reported adjusted earnings of 78 cents on revenue of $10.68 billion.