Mouse House's Earnings Short, Hints For More Caution (DIS)

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The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) posted earnings after the close of $0.43 non-GAAP EPS from normalized operations on $9.445 billion in revenues.  Thomson Reuters (First Call) had estimates for the media giant and DJIA component at $0.49 EPS and $9.34 billion in revenue for this last Q4 period. 

The company said that 46 million shares were purchased for $1.5 billionin the quarter, and it still had authorization in place to repurchase184 million additional shares of common stock.  Robert A. Iger,president and CEO, was pretty downbeat:  "Thisis clearly a difficult and unpredictable time and while our businessesaren’t immune, the strength of our assets, brands, and management teampositions us well for the long term."

We did not see any formal outlook, but the estimates for current quarterare $0.59 EPS and $10.53 billion in revenue.  Based upon Iger’scomment’s and our detailed preview, we would not expect any robust guidance in the conference call.

Shares closed down 5.8% at $22.81 in regular trading, and so far sharesare trading down 2.2% at $22.29 in after-hours trading. The 52-week lowis $21.25.

Below were the by-segment reports in billion(s) of dollars:

UNIT                                Q4-08   Q4-03    Change
Media Networks           $4.212  $4.033    +4%
Parks and Resorts      $2.969  $2.787    +7%
Studio Entertainment  $1.452  $1.533     -5%
Consumer Products    $0.812  $0.577    +41%
TOTAL:                            $9.445  $8.930    +6%            

Jon C. Ogg
November 6, 2008