Nov 10, 2021 - Economy

Disney stock slides on earnings miss, Disney+ subscriber slowdown

Photo Illustration by Thiago Prudencio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Disney's stock was down nearly 5% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the entertainment giant reported that it missed analyst expectations on earnings, revenue and subscriber additions.

Why it matters: Despite a slowdown in subscriber growth, CEO Bob Chapek told investors on a call that the company is still on track to meet previously-announced goals of reaching 230-260 million global paid Disney+ subscribers by 2024.

Details: Chapek also said that the company still expects that Disney+ will hit profitability in 2024.

  • But to get there, Disney will need to continue to focus on ways to increase its average revenue per user/subscriber (ARPU).
  • The company said that its average ARPU last quarter was $4.12, down from $4.52 the quarter prior, due to the fact that it added more subscribers to its Hotstar service in India, which is offered at a much lower subscriber cost.

For the first time since the pandemic, Disney posted a profit for its parks and resorts segment, thanks mostly to the fact that all of its parks and resorts globally are officially open.

By the numbers via CNBC:

  • Earnings per share: 37 cents adj. vs 51 cents expected, according to Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $18.53 billion vs $18.79 billion expected, according to Refinitiv
  • Total streaming subscribers: 179 million
  • Disney+: 118.1 million
  • ESPN+: 17.1 million
  • Total Hulu: 43.8 million
  • Hulu SVOD only: 39.7 million
  • Hulu Live TV + SVOD: 4 million

Looking ahead, Chapek said that noted previously-announced investments in new content would begin to really materialize to consumers next year.

  • The company said it would be "nearly doubling the amount of original content" form its marquee brands, like Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, FX and National Geographic, for Disney+ in 2022.
  • Currently, Chapek says that Disney+ is in 60 countries and in 20 languages. He said the company hopes to be available in 160 countries by 2023. The plan is to bring Disney+ to more than 50 additional countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa next year.

Chapek also referenced the much-talked-about "Metaverse" on a call to investors, alluding to new efforts from Facebook to shift its company from social media to virtual and augmented reality.

  • Touting Disney's historical investments in technology, he referenced connecting consumers via "our own Disney Metaverse" to investors.

What's next: Disney will provide more updates about Disney+ to investors and reporters on Friday during its annual "Disney+ Day" presentation and celebration.

Go deeper ... Disney earnings over the past year

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