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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Disney is recalibrating for continued growth and success — is expansion on the horizon?


Rich Tomaselli


Not great either.

Any time you have a loss is not a good thing. But it wasn’t as bad as people expected from The Walt Disney Company, Quarterly earnings were announced last week.

Shares of Disney, down 35 cents for the quarter, closed at nearly $92 a share on Friday. That continued a troubling downward trend just two years ago when Disney stock traded near $202 a share. Disney has had a tough time over the past year or so, laying off nearly 7,000 employees because of the pandemic, a feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and laying off nearly 7,000 employees. And a full version of CEO Bob Iger, who returned to work last year. Now, the entertainment giant, like others, is in the midst of a Hollywood writers’ strike.

“We are pleased with our achievements for the quarter, which reflect the strategic changes we have made across our business. We are also proud of what we continue to offer consumers, from movies to TV to sports news and our theme parks ,” Iger said on the earnings call.

Overall, revenue was $21.81 billion, up 13% from a year earlier. But any comparisons are tempered by the fact that we’ve spent two years in the midst of a pandemic. Iger is a bit worried about the decline in the theme park division. Tickets for Walt Disney World theme parks have risen, some would say outrageously, but they have been offset by increased attendance at Disneyland in California. The company did acknowledge that growth and higher ticket prices at Shanghai Disneyland and Disneyland Paris helped offset any losses.

Shanghai Disney's Enchanted Fairytale Castle.

Photo: Enchanted Fairytale Castle at Shanghai Disneyland. (Photo via Flickr/Xiquinho Silva)

Iger suggested that Disney will be fine and that it will continue to focus on its streaming business and advertising potential.

“It has been nearly six months since I returned to the company, and in that time we have embarked on a major transformation that strategically realigns Disney for continued growth and success. The strategies described are working. Our new organizational structure is returning power and accountability to our creative leaders and allowing us to operate in a more efficient, aligned and streamlined manner,” Iger said. “The cost-cutting initiatives I announced last quarter are on track and we are on track to meet or exceed our $5.5 billion goal.”

With little mention of the feud with DeSantis, Iger said the company was doing well. With both parties suing, the case is likely to end in court.

As for the potential move by the Florida governor and Disney, that’s not going to happen, Iger said Disney World employs more than 75,000 people. They’re not in a rush to move, but they’re looking to fix that with a special district called Reedy Creek. But he did add rhetoric.

“Since there’s been a lot of talk about the District and our arrangements, I’d like to clarify that as well,” Iger said. “There are about 2,000 special districts in Florida, and most of them were established to facilitate investment and development, and we are one of them. By the way, it basically makes it easier for us and others to do business in Florida.”

Can Disney expand?

When it comes to doing business in Florida, is expansion on the horizon? Or maybe in California or somewhere else in the world?

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference, Iger said that according to cinema fusion: “In Florida, of course, we have a lot of property. We have a lot of opportunity outside of the U.S. We actually have more opportunity in California than people realize.”

We say yes with confidence and Disney will continue to expand and create new magical thrills. However, the question remains when and how much? The comments about California are certainly interesting. This could be a reference to Disneyland going forward, where Disney teased its themes for Frozen, Peter Pan, Tangled, Zootopia, Tron and Toy Story paradise.disney need anaheim on board despite this.

But as with all Disney parks, let’s be honest, about anything Disney, rumors circulate year after year. But one thing is for sure, The House of Mouse will always innovate. So, in the end, they will build and create new attractions that will become new favorites for tourists from all over the world. Do you think Disney will slow down anytime soon?

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