The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Nov 09, 2017 • 04:30 pm ET


The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript


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Welcome to the Walt Disney Company Fiscal Full Year and Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call. My name is Victoria, and I will be your operator for today's call. (Operator Instructions) Please note that this conference is being recorded.

And I will now turn the call over to Lowell Singer, SVP of IR. Lowell, you may begin.

Lowell Singer

Good afternoon, and welcome to the Walt Disney Company's Fourth Quarter 2017 Earnings Call. Our press release was issued about 25 minutes ago, and is available on our website at Today's call is also being webcast, and a copy of the webcast and a transcript will also be available on our website.

Joining me for today's call are: Bob Iger, Disney's Chairman and CEO; and Christine McCarthy, Senior EVP and CFO. Christine will lead off, followed by Bob and then we'll be happy to take your questions.

So with that, let me turn the call over to Christine to get started.

Christine McCarthy

Thanks, Lowell, and good afternoon, everyone. Excluding certain items affecting comparability, earnings per share were $1.07 for the fourth quarter and $5.70 for the full year. Our fiscal 2017 results came in roughly in line with last year, which is consistent with the guidance we provided in early September, although they were adversely affected by three notable items: First, the impact of Hurricane Irma on our Parks business; second, the impact of canceling the animated film, Gigantic; and third, the impact at BAMTech of a valuation adjustment to support the programming rights that were prepaid prior to the acquisition. In aggregate, these three items reduced fourth quarter and full year segment operating income by about $275 million or approximately $0.11 in earnings per share.

At Parks and Resorts, operating income was up 7% in the quarter due to an increase at our international operations, partially offset by lower operating income at our domestic operations. The impact of Hurricane Irma, which I'll discuss in more detail in a moment, adversely affected total segment operating income by 14 percentage points.

Results at our international operations continued to improve, led by growth at Disneyland Paris and Shanghai Disney Resort. Disneyland Paris benefited from the resort's 25th anniversary celebration and a more favorable tourism environment, which drove higher attendance, guest spending and hotel occupancy. Shanghai Disney's operating income growth was due to higher attendance and, to a lesser extent, lower marketing cost compared to the fourth quarter last year. I'm pleased to note that Shanghai Disney Resort generated positive operating income during its first full fiscal year of operations, which comfortably surpassed our expectations of breakeven through its first year.

At our domestic operations, operating income was 6% below prior year due to lower results at Walt Disney World, which were adversely impacted by Hurricane Irma, partially offset by growth at Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland Resort and Disney Vacation Club. Hurricane Irma disrupted our operations in Florida, forcing the closure of Walt Disney World parks for two days and the cancellation of three Disney Cruise Line itineraries