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Disney Beats 1Q Estimates

2/06/2001 8:58 AM Eastern

The Walt Disney Co. stock rose more than 5 percent Tuesday after beating Wall
Street estimates for its fiscal first-quarter earnings.

Disney stock reached $32.10, up $1.67 each, before retreating to close at
$31.52, up $1.09 per share.

Disney finished the quarter with earnings of 16 cents per share -- a penny
better than the Wall Street consensus estimate -- on revenue of $7.3 billion, up
7 percent. Operating income increased in the period to $1.3 billion, up 12
percent.

Excluding losses and one-time charges associated with restructuring its
Disney Internet Group, earnings would have been 28 cents per share for the
period.

Fueling the growth were increases at its theme parks, where revenue was up 6
percent, and studio-entertainment operations, which reversed a $45 million
operating loss into a $152 million gain.

At its cable networks -- which include Disney Channel and ESPN -- revenue was
up 14 percent to $1.2 billion while operating income declined 5 percent to $281
million due to a soft advertising market, higher programming costs at ESPN and
start-up costs at SoapNet.

Chief financial officer Thomas Staggs said in a prerecorded conference call
that he expects advertising revenue to strengthen in the coming quarters,
especially at its cable networks.

'We believe our cable businesses are generally more resistant to an
advertising downturn than most other cable-programming networks,' he
added.

September