BURBANK, Calif.—The Burbank-based Walt Disney Company reported on Nov. 10 its fourth-quarter revenue of $18.5 billion, falling slightly short of analysts’ predictions but still representing a sharp rise from the same period last year.
The fourth-quarter revenue translated to 37 cents earnings per share. The revenue figure was up 26 percent from last year’s fourth-quarter revenue, $14.7 billion.
A major contributor to the quarter’s revenue jump was the company’s Parks, Experiences, and Products division, which had a 99 percent increase over the same period last year—the result of crowds flocking back to Disney theme parks following the yearlong COVID-19 closures.
Disney has also experienced significant growth in its direct-to-consumer (DTC) division, which consists of its streaming services—most notably Disney Plus—and other overseas media businesses. Disney Plus streaming service accounts for a total of 118.1 million paid subscribers, up roughly 2 million since the end of the third quarter.
“This has been a very productive year for The Walt Disney Company, as we’ve made great strides in reopening our businesses while taking meaningful and innovative steps in direct-to-consumer and at our parks, particularly with our popular new Disney Genie and Magic Key offerings,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in a statement.
“We continue to manage our DTC business for the long-term, and are confident that our high-quality entertainment and expansion into additional markets worldwide will enable us to further grow our streaming platforms globally.”
Disney reported 179 million current subscriptions across its DTC platforms, with annual growth of 60 percent. Compared to the same quarter last year, there is a 38 percent revenue increase for its DTC business, although the division’s operating loss increased from $400 million to $600 million.
The company attributed the loss primarily to higher programming, production, marketing, and technology costs at Disney Plus.
The losses were partially offset by increased revenue generated by a pair of “Premier Access” films for which subscribers paid additional fees, namely “Black Widow” and “Jungle Cruise.”