Disney (DIS) earnings for the first quarter of 2023: Bob Iger returns

Bob Iger poses with Mickey Mouse at Mickey’s 90th performance at The Shrine Auditorium on October 6, 2018 in Los Angeles.

Valerie Macon | AFP | Getty Images

LOS ANGELES – While shareholders will still be entering data to see how many subscribers Disney set of streaming services added in the first quarter financial report, Wednesday’s earnings focus will be the return of CEO Bob Iger.

Its recovery coincides with a bitter fiduciary battle with activist investor Nelson Peltz and follows a tough year for the company’s stock as rising streaming spending and a small number of theatrical releases ate into profits.

This is Eiger’s first phone call since early 2020, and his words will set the tone for the media company’s future. Investors are hungry for details about his plans to restructure the company.

Since his return, Disney stock has outperformed almost every member of the Dow Industrials. The company’s shares rose about 20%, equaling Dow Inc. and slightly inferior to Boeing. In addition, Disney’s earnings are about five times the S&P 500’s 4% gain over the same period.

Here’s what analysts expect:

  • Earnings per share: Expected 78 cents, according to a survey of analysts by Refinitiv.
  • Income: $23.37 billion is expected, according to Refinitiv.
  • Total number of Disney+ subscriptions: According to StreetAccount, 161.1 million people are expected.

Last quarter, with Bob Chapek still at the helm, Disney sought to moderate investor expectations for the new fiscal year, forecasting revenue growth of less than 10%. As part of that warning, the company noted that its Disney+ platform could face slower growth going forward.

In November, the company reported $1.5 billion in operating losses in the consumer-facing division, including streaming services. Wall Street is forecasting slightly smaller losses of $1.2 billion this quarter.

In terms of subscriber growth, analysts predict a total Disney+ user pool of 161.1 million, down 3 million from the previous quarter. The recent price increase is expected to have prompted some consumers to opt out of the service.

Disney’s theme parks revenue and operating profit could be up year-over-year given that the holiday season typically brings significant visitor numbers to local and international entertainment venues. In addition, the company released the blockbuster Avatar: The Way of Water in theaters in December, which likely boosted its theatrical revenue compared to last year.

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