LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Walt Disney Co posted a slightly higher quarterly profit that beat Wall Street expectations, even though its movie studio earnings declined as hit film Iron Man 3 failed to match the spectacular success of last year's The Avengers.
Pre-release marketing costs for box office bomb The Lone Ranger helped drag down operating income at the studio division by 36 per cent from a year earlier, Disney said on Tuesday.
Disney expects a loss of US$160 million to $190 million (S$203 million to S$241 million) in the quarter that ends in September for the Johnny Depp movie, chief financial officer Jay Rasulo said.
Disney shares fell 1.5 per cent to US$66.06 in after-hours trading, from their US$67.05 close on the New York Stock Exchange.
Overall, net income rose 1 per cent to US$1.85 billion in the quarter that ended in June. Adjusted earnings-per-share reached US$1.03, beating the US$1.01 average forecast from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Operating income increased at the company's theme parks and its media networks division, which operates sports channel ESPN.
"Overall it was a decent quarter, but nothing to get excited about," Wunderlich Securities analyst Matt Harrigan said.
A gain in fees and advertising revenue at ESPN helped lift operating income at Disney's media networks by 8 per cent to US$2.3 billion for the quarter.
At the parks unit, operating income increased 9 per cent to US$689 million as more people visited Disney's theme parks in Florida and California.
The interactive gaming unit posted a loss of US$58 million.
The company is counting on the Aug 18 release of its Infinity game to turn the unit profitable.