Walt Disney Company reports Q4 2021 earnings showing continued gains at the parks but missing Wall Street estimates

Nov 10, 2021 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday November 10, 2021 4:10pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

The Walt Disney Company today reported earnings for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended October 2 2021, missing Wall Street expectations across the board and resulting in a fall in stock price in after-hours trading.

Revenues for the quarter were $18.53 billion, compared to $18.79 expected. 

In the earnings report, Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company said, "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."

He continued, "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."

This is the first full quarter since the pandemic began that all of Disney parks around the world are open to guests, albite with some limits on capacity.

In discussing results at the parks, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said that attendance at Walt Disney World is up double digits compared to Q3, and that guest spending per caps up 30% versus fiscal 2019. She also commented that although international guests are now able to travel to Walt Disney World, the company does not expect to see a substantial recovery in international visits until the end of fiscal year 2022 (October 2022).

You can view the full Q4 earnings report here, and below is the Parks, Experiences and Products statement.

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products revenues for the quarter increased to $5.5 billion compared to $2.7 billion in the prior-year quarter. Segment operating results increased $1.6 billion to income of $640 million. Operating income for the quarter reflected increases at our domestic and international parks and experiences businesses, partially offset by a decrease at our consumer products business.

Revenue and operating income growth was due to the reopening of our parks and resorts, which were open for the entire quarter this year. In the prior-year quarter, Shanghai Disney Resort was open for the entire quarter, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Paris were open for approximately 12 weeks, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort was open for approximately 4 weeks and Disneyland Resort was closed for the entire quarter. During the periods our parks and resorts were open, they were generally reduced capacities.

Lower results at our consumer products business were driven by lower royalties from game titles, Marvel’s Avengers and Twisted Wonderland.

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DCBakerNov 29, 2021

Here's a link to the transcript that was finally posted - https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/app/uploads/2021/10/q4-fy21-earnings-transcript.pdf

Cesar R MNov 26, 2021

Which makes me kinda uneasy on how cheerful they are about "expanding" inside Target.

ImperfectPixieNov 26, 2021

Aside from a few flagship locations, yes.

Cesar R MNov 26, 2021

Agree, even if you consider that a ton of things that are paid as "extra" in other cruise lines are free on DCL. The price hike is almost 5 times in some dates.

Cesar R MNov 26, 2021

Haven't they closed Disney stores everywhere?

ImperfectPixieNov 26, 2021

I don't have a problem with people imbibing and getting a little silly (I've been told I'm super fun when I'm drinking)...but some people really need to learn their limits.

bubbles1812Nov 26, 2021

A miracle! I think we might have found something you and I actually agree on! 🥲 While I don’t think I’ve really observed the drunkenness you describe, the crowds at Food and Wine are stupid packed. And all for small plates of food and overpriced alcohol. (Alcohol gives me hives so I just watch my mom drink the overpriced alcohol instead. We usually find a place to plunk early for ROE/Harmonius and chill to avoid the crowds.)

bubbles1812Nov 26, 2021

So interesting to read your experience. We were there the same weekend. The day it poured and poured and poured… in my 26 years of going, I had never experienced a day like that ever. I know you said you two were freezing but I actually thought we lucked out as it felt like a pretty warm rain. The high was 70 that day, I think? We were at DHS and had a pretty good time, even if we walked around in soaking shoes all day. My favorite part was when the rain let up, we decided to go use our free LL for SDD, only for it to start pouring extremely hard as the coaster was about to launch. The pic was hilarious. We’ll talk about that ride for years. We did keep a reservation at the Brown Derby I originally wasn’t planning to keep but we wanted to dry off… I do know walk up was 90 minutes+, so your difficulty with a DR rings some truth. We briefly went to Epcot after to ride Remy and called it a night early for the first time in I don’t know how long, cause Harmonius couldn’t beat the call of dry socks. We were also at MK on Saturday. It was crowded, but it only felt somewhat busier than usual MK Saturday crowded to me. Perhaps it had just been too long since I last experienced an MK Saturday? I knew it was a Race Weekend so I think I came prepared with the attitude that we’d do what we could. Maybe G+ and early magic hours assisted, but we rode every major attraction, quite a few at least twice. Think the only thing I didn’t get to ride was PeopleMover, in terms of stuff we wanted to do. I fully know it helped I only had one other person to get through the lines rather than working in a larger group. And I didn’t have issue with getting counter service. Cosmic Ray’s isn’t the most in demand but on a busy day, I wasn’t bothered by the 25 minute wait for it. I’m not sure a walk up queue would have been much better. We got into Pinocchio’s queue right quick for some warm drinks later. I think you may really have had some bad luck here. Perhaps it’s my midwestern heritage but we actually loved the weather that day. Kept the park crowds suppressed a bit in the morning and beat roasting in the afternoon. It was still 30 degrees warmer than home (which was in the 20s), so it just felt comfy cold to me. But of course, that’s all relative. I’m sorry you had a bad experience. :(

ImperfectPixieNov 26, 2021

Epcot at night during food and wine on a weekend is AWFUL. The one trip we made the mistake of being there on a weekend night, we couldn't even walk through World Showcase because it was so crowded with stumbling people (yes - there were more than a few who were obviously smashed), and the entire area smelled of booze, too much cologne, and sweat. NEVER AGAIN. I've also been told by others that "I've never seen anyone stumbling drunk at Epcot"...so know it isn't just you who experienced this.

MagicHappens1971Nov 26, 2021

I was there race weekend, the crowds were INSANE. Nothing compared to holidays of years past but I’ve been to the parks a lot this year and haven’t seen crowds like race weekend since pre-Covid

Christi22222Nov 26, 2021

I love mobile ordering as a concept. But they were not prepared for the crowds they had, and that limited the success of mobile ordering in our case. We have a friend who's daughter is a food service CP worker. She said that race weekend was the first really big crowds they'd had since she started this summer. Apparently lots of folks had troubles acquiring food that weekend. Were you there race weekend and it was a good experience? If so, I'm jealous!

Christi22222Nov 26, 2021

Right. Except for the part where I acknowledged that, and the context was simply that we didn't want to stay until closing because we had to be up super early yet that was the only way to get on rides without an hour plus wait. Bad weather is not Disney's fault. Crowds are debatable. However, not having the capacity for dining or attractions, while eliminating options for coping with that bad weather and those crowds (not being able to change parks due to reservations or hop until afternoon), is totally Disney's fault.

Christi22222Nov 26, 2021

I fell off the forums for awhile and didn't see this or I would have replied sooner. I'm not sure why it's important to nullify my disappointments. I made it clear that I realized not all of the issues were Disney's fault. But you misunderstood my food ordering issue. No, 30 minutes to wait for food isn't ideal, but also isn't the worst. I've waited in lines that long before. What I was trying to explain is that we were having to wait that long just to get to our 30 minute "window" of time we were allotted to simply order food. Then you still have to wait for your food to be made and your number to be called. All while there are no tables to sit at to wait because they are all full. I have said before and will say again, no one issue on a Disney trip is a huge deal. It's more of a "death by a thousand paper cuts" scenario. As for "endless drunk folks intermixed with stroller families" being an issue and therefore "nothing was going to make you happy that day," you missed my point. I am not foolish enough to expect there not to be stroller families at Disney. And they are fine, really. And I haven't often seen drunk folks at Disney at all. They were there because it was an after hours party, on a Sunday, at Epcot during Wine and Dine festival. So not unexpected, or really a problem, either. The issue was the mix. Tired families at the end of the day dragging crying and tired children, trying to navigate around large groups of 20-30 somethings having a party experience and talking/behaving somewhat inappropriately for public (PDA's, F bombs, etc.), was simply bizarre. It was like, you couldn't figure out what the experience was. So no, not the biggest problem of the trip. And not even noteworthy if the rest of the trip had been better. But I was condensing a lot of real issues and some simple basic observations into one brief synopsis answering a question about what went wrong on my trip. I didn't really want to get into dissecting the nitty gritty of every bad moment and explaining it to folks who didn't really want to hear it. I have been to Disney a heck of a lot, and I know when I didn't have a good experience. Or at least one that compares to trip quality of the past. I'm not sure why that bothers you so much that you need explain away whatever I say. Most folks just commented, "bummer," in effect, and hoped it was a one off.

yensid1967Nov 15, 2021

Walt would be sooo disappointed if he were alive today! I understand that because of COVID they had to cut alot of things, but they are slowly bringing them back, but right now for me its not worth even planning a trip within the next few years. I am shooting for December 2026...hoping there is more normalcy and more offerings