Disney reported earnings Tuesday that blew past forecasts and sent the stock screaming higher in after-hours trading. CNBC’s Julia Boorstin sat down with Disney CEO Bob Iger in an exclusive post-earnings interview to find out what is driving growth at the Mouse House.
Disney’s theme parks, consumer products and media networks all contributed to the company’s blow-out quarter despite expectations that all three of those sectors would be bruised by economic worries. Iger said there were no apparent effects of an economic slowdown in the last quarter, although he declined to give guidance going forward, saying only that he was “pleased” with the pacing for the rest of the year in areas like theme parks and cruise ships.
The latter is important because the overall cruise ship space has been in decline amid huge worries that a recession could all but put the industry out of business. Not so, said Iger. Disney cruise ships are already 85% booked for the year, far ahead where they were this time last year.
As far as Iger is concerned, Disney’s success really hinges on one word: creativity. The current media landscape is one that rewards companies that can marry great content to a multitude of platforms using new technology, he said. From seeing Hannah Montana in 3-D on the big screen to watching Cars over the Internet to downloading Desperate Housewives onto a mobile phone, Disney is on the forefront of this “perfect storm” of creative content and new technology that is adding up to profits for the media empire. And it’s only going to continue. Iger said he predicted the digital distribution model will “blow away” the old analog model and Disney will be right there to catch the windfall.
Jeff Macke, who has long been a Disney shareholder, couldn’t be happier with the company’s performance under Iger. There’s no whining about the effects of a recession in the earnings report and the stock continues to perform when many others aren’t able to.
“Holy cow do I think you have to be long this stock,” Macke said.
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Trader disclosure: On Feb.5, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (YHOO), (DIS), (INTC); Finerman Owns (GS); Finerman's Firm Owns (NMX), (RTP), (SKS), (TSO), (TYC), (VLO), (WMT), (SUN); Finerman's Firm Owns (YHOO) And (YHOO) Calls; Finerman's Firm Is Short (SPY), (IJR), (IYR), (IWM), (MDY), (CME), (COF), (BHP); Finerman's Firm Is Short (LEH) And Owns (LEH) Puts; Jon Najarian Owns (CME), (DIS), (MRK), (CMC), (YRCW); Jon Najarian Is Short (AIG), (XOM); Jon Najarian Has A Protected Long Position In (XLF) Through Options