The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) Q1 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Feb 03, 2015 • 05:00 pm ET
Welcome to The Walt Disney Company's First Quarter Fiscal Year 2015 Earnings Conference Call.
My name is Ellen and I will be your operator for today's call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Please note that this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the call over to Lowell Singer, Senior Vice President of Investor
Relations. Mr. Singer, you may begin.
Good afternoon and welcome to The Walt Disney Company's first quarter 2015 earnings call. Our press release was issued almost 45 minutes ago and it's available on our website at www.disney.com/investors. Today's call is also being webcast and the webcast and a transcript of the call will also be available on our website. Joining me for today's call are Bob Iger, Disney's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Jay Rasulo, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Bob will lead off followed by Jay and then, of course, we will be happy to take your questions. So with that, let me turn it over to Bob and we'll get started.
Good afternoon. I'm very pleased to announce The Walt Disney Company had another incredibly strong quarter, with diluted earnings per share up 23% to $1.27. These results were driven by solid performance across all of our businesses and once again demonstrate the strength of our brands and content, and a proven franchise strategy that will drive long-term value.
And Frozen is a great example of this strategy. On March 13th, along with Cinderella, we're premiering a new seven-minute short, Frozen Fever, bringing back all the beloved characters and voices and introducing a great new song. This time last year, we were excited about the box office success of Frozen, which went on to win the Oscar and become the highest grossing animated feature of all time. Now, a full year after its release, we're seeing the true impact of Frozen across our entire company.
Overall, retail toy sales in North America were up 4% in 2014, and according to a leading market research firm, much of the credit for that growth belongs to Frozen, which was both the biggest and fastest growing toy property of the year. It's also enormously popular in our Parks & Resorts, it's showcased in a successful mobile game, and it gave a significant boost to our home entertainment business for the quarter, along with Maleficent and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.
And Frozen is just one of the 11 franchises at Disney currently driving more than a $1 billion each in annual retail sales. The strong holiday demand for Frozen, as well as Mickey & Minnie, Spider-Man, and Avengers, led to the most successful quarter ever for Disney Consumer Products. Among media companies, Disney stands out, no one else comes close to our unparalleled collection of strong brands or our pipeline of great content. And our unprecedented ability to leverage creative success and create value across the entire company allows