"The real bright spot has been our direct-to-consumer business, which is key to the future of our company", saidBob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.
Analysts and investors have accepted that Disney faces some bruising quarters before it returns to full operations, putting an even brighter spotlight on Disney+ and prompting some on Wall Street to treat the company less like an entertainment stock and more like a tech one. For the fiscal year, Disney reported annual revenue of $16.50 billion, which is down a whopping 37% year-over year. Dozens of scripted and unscripted shows are in production, and major divisions such as Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm have cameras rolling.
Shares of the Burbank, California-based company rose $4.48, or 3.3 percent, to $140 in after-hours trading.
Disney says the estimated Q4 impact to its parks segment from the COVID-19 pandemic was around $2.4 billion.
The CEO was complimentary towards its other streaming services as well, saying that there have been "impressive subscriber gains for ESPN+ and Hulu".
Disney's direct-to-consumer division - including streaming service Disney+ which began offering United States broadway show Hamilton in July - has been a "bright spot" amid the pandemic, said Bob Chapek, chief executive.
Now, Disney is likely to give an update on the latest subscriber numbers for Disney+. Disney was already making heavy investments in Disney+ and sister service ESPN+ prior to the pandemic, which has triggered a surge in digital viewership. Now Disney isn't planning for reopening. Executives in charge of greenlighting movies and TV shows will be centralized in a distribution arm that determines where a given project premieres-on a streaming service, a TV network or in movie theaters. Do you think Disney can recover once the pandemic has passed?
Disney had been making comments that Disneyland was "ready to open" as soon as the park was given the ok to do so, clearly hoping that the state of California would reconsider its position and allow the park to open sooner.
McCarthy added that the company does not have any indication of how long restrictions on theme parks will last. These employees had been furloughed since April, collecting health benefits but not paychecks. Hong Kong Disneyland had to close again in July before reopening in September. The pandemic led to a $7.4-billion reduction in operating income during the year, the company said.
"We're extremely disappointed", Mr. Chapek said.
Disneyland is expected to remain closed at least through the end of the fiscal first quarter.