Disney Cleans Up
Wholesomeness once again paid off bigtime for the Walt Disney Co., which saw its revenue climb 9 percent to $10.45 billion in its last quarter compared to $9.58 billion a year ago. Disney said that the rise was due in great measure to the overwhelming popularity of its Disney Channel favorites, Hannah Montana and High School Musical II. Earnings rose 29 percent when one-time gains of a year ago, including the sale of Disney's stake in E! Entertainment and Us Weekly, were excluded. Announcement of the quarterly results came as Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour 3-D film was setting box-office records. Speaking with analysts, Disney CEO Robert Iger said, "Its impressive performance highlights our mission perfectly." He pointed out that a Hanna Montana soundtrack CD sold 8 million copies, that a Miley Cyrus concert tour was an immediate sell-out, and that video games based on the character sold more than 1.7 million units. Only Disney's movie business reported lower income during the quarter, as DVD sales of its hit movies Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Ratatouille came in 9 percent below Disney films released on DVD a year ago. In early trading today (Wednesday) Disney shares were up more than 5 percent.