This has been a momentous quarter for Disney, between an overhaul of the movie division (see my prior blog), a major acquisition, and progress towards theme park expansion in China and a new production facility. Disney's always considered a bellwether of advertising trends and consumer spending, so its TV advertising business and theme park revenues will be in the spotlight. The studio, now in the midst of a restructuring, has seen revenue decline over the past year, so we're sure to hear about plans to turn that around.
Analysts expect earnings of 40 cents per share, compared to 43 cents in the year-ago quarter on revenue of about $9.26 billion, down slightly from last year. The media networks division, bolstered by the stellar ESPN brand, plus the resilient Disney Channel, is expected to hold up the best on strong affiliate fees and stronger ad revenues. One key question about this division is whether auto advertising, which ESPN is particularly exposed to, is starting to rebound.