BURBANK, Calif. (CNS) — The Burbank-based Walt Disney Co. reported fourth-quarter revenue of $18.5 billion Wednesday, falling slightly short of analysts' predictions but still representing a sharp rise from the same period last year.
The revenue figure was up 26% from last year's fourth quarter when revenues were $14.7 billion. The fourth-quarter revenue translated to earnings per share of 37 cents.
A major contributor to the quarter's revenue jump was the company's Parks, Experiences and Products division, which saw a 99% increase over the same period last year — the result of crowds flocking back to Disney theme parks following last year's COVID-19 closures.
"This has been a very productive year for The Walt Disney Company, as we've made great strides in reopening our businesses while taking meaningful and innovative steps in direct-to-consumer and at our parks, particularly with our popular new Disney Genie and Magic Key offerings," Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in a statement. "As we celebrate the two-year anniversary of Disney+, we're extremely pleased with the success of our streaming business, with 179 million total subscriptions across our DTC portfolio at the end of fiscal 2021 and 60% subscriber growth year-over-year for Disney+. We continue to manage our DTC business for the long-term, and are confident that our high-quality entertainment and expansion into additional markets worldwide will enable us to further grow our streaming platforms globally."
The company reported a total of 118.1 million paid subscribers to its Disney+ streaming service, up roughly 2 million since the end of the third quarter.
Disney reported a 38% increase in revenue for its direct-to-consumer business, compared to the same quarter last year, although the segment saw its operating loss increase from $0.4 billion to $0.6 billion. The company attributed the operating loss primarily to higher programming, production, marketing and technology costs at Disney+.
The losses were partially offset by increased revenue generated by a pair of "Premier Access" films for which subscribers paid additional fees — "Black Widow" and "Jungle Cruise."