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Disney Profit, Sales Top Street Forecasts; Shares Jump

Cinderella's Castle
Flikr/cdharrison
Cinderella's Castle

Walt Disney shares rose in after-hours trading Thursday after the company reported earnings and revenue that beat analysts' expectations.

The entertainment giant said it earned 46 cents a share excluding one-time items in its fiscal fourth quarter, compared with 43 cents a share this time last year.

Sales for the most recent quarter reached $9.87 billion, up from $9.445 billion in the same period last year.

Analysts who follow the company projected Disney earning 41 cents a share on a topline of $9.285 billion.

Video: CNBC's Julia Boorstin reports on Disney's 4th quarter earnings.

Shares of Disney rose more than 3 percent in extended trading Thursday. Get after-hour quotes for Walt Disney here.

The company's stock finished the regular New York Stock Exchange session at $29.03.

"We've stayed focused on our long-term strategy, efficiently managed costs, and continued to invest in initiatives to deliver future growth," CEO Robert Iger in a prepared statement.

On Thursday, Disney announced that two of top executives, CFO Tom Staggs and parks chairman Jay Rasulo, will swap jobs at the end of 2009 to give each other new challenges, according to Disney CEO Bob Iger.

Staggs has served as Disney CFO for more than a decade, presiding over acquisitions of Capital Cities/ABC and Pixar and the pending purchase of Marvel Entertainment .

—Wire services contributed to this story.