So much for fears the Disney (DIS) would follow the disappointing course plotted by Netflix (NFLX) and report disappointing numbers for new subscriptions to its Disney Plus streaming service.
For the December quarter, the company’s first quarter of fiscal 2022, Disney Plus added 11.8 million subscribers, easily beating analyst projections for 7.3 million new subscribers. That’s quite a recovery from disappointing subscriber growth in the prior quarter. Disney Plus ended the year with 129.8 million subscribers worldwide.
The company also saw solid growth in its ESPN Plus and Hulu streaming services with growth to 21.3 million customers at ESPN Plus and 45.3 million for Hulu.
Overall, the company reported revenue of $21.82 billion and adjusted earnings per share of $1.06 cents for the quarter. Wall Street had been looking for $18.36 billion in revenue and earnings of 61 cents a share.
As promised Disney kept its foot firmly planted on the content-spending accelerator. The company has told Wall Street that it plans to spend $33 billion on content in fiscal 2022, up $8 billion year over year.
The company told analysts that it expects Disney Plus to hit 230 million to 260 million total paying subscribers by September 2024 and that the streaming service will be profitable in fiscal 2024.
Disney shares climbed 3.33% in the regular season today and then added 7.99% in after hours trading.
Disney has been a member of my long-term 50 Stocks Portfolio since May 16, 2019. That position is up 11.28% as of the close on February 9, 2022. The stock is also a member of my Jubak Picks 12-18 month portfolio. That position has lost 20.21% since May 31, 2021.