Walt Disney exceeded Wall Street’s earnings expectations in the fourth quarter, with increased attendance at its Shanghai and Hong Kong theme parks contributing to the positive results. After the announcement of better-than-expected earnings and a plan to cut an additional $2 billion in expenses, Walt Disney’s stock price rose by 3% to $87.14 in after-hours trading on Wednesday.

For the fiscal fourth quarter ending on September 30, Walt Disney reported adjusted earnings per share of 82 cents, surpassing the average forecast of 70 cents, as reported by LSEG data. The company’s quarterly revenue of $21.2 billion closely aligned with consensus estimates, according to Reuters.

Disney is on track to achieve $7.5 billion in annualized savings through proactive cost management efforts. During a call with investors, Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger mentioned that the additional cost-cutting measures would transition Disney from a phase of problem-solving to one of growth.

The company also intends to request its board’s approval to reinstate dividend payments to shareholders by the end of 2023, as stated by interim Chief Financial Officer Kevin Lansberry.

In the quarter, Walt Disney added nearly 7 million Disney streaming subscribers, aided by the inclusion of content like “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and the original series “Star Wars: Ahsoka.”

Disney’s streaming services, encompassing Hulu and ESPN, reported reduced quarterly losses of $387 million compared to $1.47 billion the previous year, thanks to price adjustments and increased advertising revenue. The company is on track to achieve profitability for its streaming business by September 2024.

Walt Disney’s newly named Experiences group, encompassing its theme parks, resorts, cruise lines, and consumer products, reported operating income of nearly $1.8 billion in the quarter, marking a 31% increase from the previous year, as reported by Reuters. Strong attendance at Shanghai Disney, Hong Kong Disneyland, Disneyland resorts, and growth in the cruise business helped offset weaker results at Walt Disney World in Florida.

The Entertainment unit of Disney, which includes its television networks, film studio, Disney, and Hulu services, posted operating income of $236 million in the quarter, a substantial improvement from losses of $608 million a year ago. Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, expressed optimism about the progress made in the past year, moving the company from a phase of addressing challenges to one focused on business growth.

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