Theme park revenue key to Disney topping forecasts

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Plus, the sports cable giant's new standalone streaming service, will cost $4.99 when it launches in the spring.

The Disney-Fox deal comes as tech giants like Netflix and Amazon engage traditional medias in an increasingly competitive spending race on content. CNBC reported Monday that fear of being outspent was one of the main reasons Rupert Murdoch chose to sell those Fox assets. Compared with Netflix's increasingly hefty outlays ($8 billion this year and headed upward), Disney "will not necessarily go in the volume direction that Netflix has gone", Iger said.

In December, Disney agreed to buy assets of Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox for about $52.4 billion.

Higher losses from streaming service Hulu, in which Disney will become a majority stakeholder pending the close of its Fox acquisition, were partially attributed to an equity decrease in investee income from US$119 million in the prior-year quarter to US$50 million.

The Walt Disney Company has posted a 78 percent increase in profit for the first quarter, thanks in part to a federal tax cut.

Disney CEO Bob Iger made the announcement during an interview Tuesday on CNBC.

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"Our ultimate intention is to create and to ultimately grow a global, direct-to-consumer business that will take advantage of the production output that the combined companies will have", Iger said. The figure was aided by the recent change in US tax law, along with other one-time benefits that gave the company an additional $1.6 billion. In addition to a new trilogy already under development, the company announced Tuesday that "Game of Thrones" creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will work on a new series of "Star Wars" films.

Operating income for the studio declined 2 percent to $829 million, Disney said.

Despite some of these declines, Disney doesn't have much to worry about, posting a Parks and Resorts growth of 13 percent in revenue and 21 percent in operating income.

With so many big-name studios under its belt, Iger said Disney is in an ideal position to spend less on quantity and worry more about branding. "With this service having massive amounts of sports content, it's the ideal foray into streaming in our opinion with Disney's standalone service coming down the pike slated for 2019, with the Fox acquisition and Hulu ownership making the company a legitimate streaming player".

"After these discussions, I'm even more enthusiastic about the businesses we're acquiring and the management teams that are leading them". Analysts' outlook called for revenue of $6.35 billion in this category. Disney last month gave about 125,000 US employees a one-time $1,000 bonus and announced plans to put $50 million toward helping hourly employees with tuition expenses.

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