By R.T. Watson 

Walt Disney Co. said it lost nearly $5 billion in the quarter ended June 27, as the majority of its business reeled amid global efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus by shutting down public spaces.

Crippled by sweeping social-distancing measures, the entertainment company swung to a loss of $4.72 billion for its fiscal third quarter, from a year-earlier profit of $1.43 billion. Total revenue fell 42% to $11.8 billion from $20.3 billion.

As expected, Disney's theme-parks business was hit the hardest. The company estimated the pandemic had a roughly $3.5 billion negative impact on the segment, resulting in a $1.96 billion loss for the business, compared with $1.72 billion operating income a year earlier.

The company's domestic parks, resorts, cruise lines and Disneyland Paris were closed during the entire quarter. Disney's Shanghai Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland were able to operate for a portion of the quarter.

Disney shares were up about 1% in after-hours trading.

The company also disclosed ways it is adapting to the pandemic's impact, notably saying its big-budget remake of "Mulan," originally planned to debut in theaters this summer, will now be available as a premium-priced rental on Disney+. Starting early next month, the movie will be available for about $30 in the U.S., Canada and several other major markets. The company said it will open in theaters in markets where those are open.

"We're looking at 'Mulan' as a one-off," said Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek, adding that he hoped releasing the movie on its platform would attract subscribers to the streaming service.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 04, 2020 17:33 ET (21:33 GMT)

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