I sat down with Disney CEO Bob Iger for an exclusive interview after the company's fiscal first quarter earnings call.
Earnings beat Wall Street expectations and came in stronger than last year thanks to stronger advertising, subscription revenue and better attendance at its US parks. But the economy continued to put pressure on results.
Iger spoke in great detail about the economy based on his perspective from Disney's parks and advertising business.
Iger says that the consumer isn't coming back just yet, saying that job security is a major issue. With housing prices still weak, Iger says they expect consumers to "buy hard" throughout the year, shopping for bargains and waiting until the last minute, looking for discounts.
When consumers change their buying patterns and make their purchases at the last minute, it's much harder for Disney to project trends going forward. So Iger wouldn't make any predictions about travel in 2010, but he said they'll continue to discount at Disney, experimenting with what deals works, to maintain the volume of visitors at the parks that they'd like to have.