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Disney Earnings Meet Expectations, Revenue Misses

CNBC.com With Wires
Thursday, 8 Nov 2012 | 7:01 PM ET

Walt Disney reported quarterly earnings on Thursday that matched analysts' expectations, while revenue fell short.

Disney recently announced it would by Lucasfilm and the "Star Wars" franchise, with plans to revive the series with a new trilogy starting in three years. In an interview on CNBC's "Closing Bell," Disney CEO Bob Iger said he didn't expect the purchase to contribute to earnings until then. Lucasfilm generates some $800 million a year in revenue, analysts estimate. (Read more: Iger 'Feels Good' About Year Ahead)

The entertainment company's shares fell more than 2 percent in after-hours trading following the report. (Click here to get real-time quotes for Disney.)

Net income rose 14 percent to $1.24 billion from $1.09 billion a year earlier.

Excluding items, earnings rose to 68 cents per share from 59 cents a share in the year-earlier period, matching analysts' expectations, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Revenue increased 3.2 percent to $10.78 billion from $10.43 billion a year ago, but fell short of the $10.92 billion analysts had expected.

The theme-parks division benefitted from the rising popularity of Disney cruise ships and higher attendance at theme parks in Tokyo and Hong Kong, the company said.

Disney CEO: George Lucas Will Be Consultant
Bob Iger, president & CEO of The Walt Disney Company, offers insight on the company's quarter, the Lucasfilm buy and its digital plans. "I look forward to continuing to interact with George [Lucas], but he will be a consultant," he says. He also weighs in on the fiscal cliff. With CNBC's Maria Bartiromo and Julia Boorstin.

Iger also expressed enthusiasm about the company's TV business.

"We have great confidence in our ability to sustain growth in our Disney Channel businesses and ESPN. We feel great about the growth potential for both businesses," he said.

With advertising less than 40 percent of revenue at ESPN, Iger said the business "is less susceptible to advertising trends whether they are from reduced political spending or ups and downs in the economy."

Morningstar analyst Michael Corty said Disney produced "another solid quarter" particularly with its cable networks business, though revenue was below what some analysts expected.

"Disney has so many good things going for it that any weakness in the stock would be a buying opportunity," he said.

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