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Disney earnings preview: Q3 expected to see further drop in streaming



The entertainment company Walt Disney will report fiscal third quarter (Q3) results after the bell tonight.


 Jeremy Naylor | Analyst, London | Publication date: Wednesday 09 August 2023 12:57

While revenues are expected to rise 4.6% to $22.5 billion, earnings per share are forecast to drop 11%. Why?

There are a number of issues, but the cost of competition amongst streaming companies is rising and some in the sector are being forced to cut subscriptions just to stand still.

But Disney has another problem: its streaming business is shrinking. As of 1 April this year Disney had 157.8 million paid subscribers, down from 161.8 million as of 31 December last year. Will this sort of drop be repeated in this release?

Separately, Reuters is reporting that Disney has set up a taskforce to engage more heavily with AI, something that may irk striking actors in Hollywood.

(Video Transcript)

Disney Q3 earnings preview

Disney is about to release its latest financial report, and it's expected to show a decrease in earnings per share (EPS), even though their revenues have gone up.

The reason for this is that Disney+, their streaming service, has seen a decline in subscriber growth. Basically, fewer people are signing up for the service. This could be because there are a lot of other streaming platforms out there, like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, that people are choosing instead.

Disney's sports network, ESPN, is also facing some challenges, so the CEO is thinking about selling part of that business. On top of all that, Disney is looking into using artificial intelligence (AI) in their company, but some Hollywood actors are on strike because they're worried that AI could take away their jobs.

Share price

When it comes to Disney's stock, it's been a bit up and down. When the current CEO, Bob Iger, took over, the stock started off pretty strong, but it's been struggling lately. Right now, it's trading at around $88.56 per share.

Overall, Disney's upcoming financial report is expected to show that their streaming service isn't doing as well as they had hoped, and the whole industry is facing similar challenges. There's also some concern from actors who are protesting against the company's plans with AI technology.

So, in simpler terms, Disney's streaming service isn't getting as many new customers because there are a lot of other options out there. Their sports network is also having some problems, and the CEO is thinking about selling part of it. Plus, Disney is exploring using AI in their company, but some actors aren't happy about it. As a result, Disney's stock performance has been a bit up and down.

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