Earnings Preview: Disney 1Q Growth Seen

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Family media company The Walt Disney Co. reports its fiscal first-quarter results after the stock market closes on Tuesday.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Strong advertising growth at Disney's pay TV channels, led by ESPN; a further recovery at its theme park division; and better performance at its broadcast group, which includes ABC, partly because of a new deal to distribute TV shows to Netflix subscribers.

ESPN, already the most in-demand channel for cable and satellite operators, is expected to continue to benefit from an advertising recovery. Disney peers Time Warner Inc., Viacom Inc. and News Corp., which already reported quarterly earnings for the three months that ended in December, all benefited from increased ad revenue.

As the economy improves, theme park attendance and spending is expected to pick up. Disney also launched its first new cruise ship since 1998 last month, which will contribute to the parks and resorts segment revenue.

WHY IT MATTERS: Strong performance by the Burbank, Calif.-based company would signal that consumers and advertisers continue to come out of their shells and spend money following the economic downturn.

WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts polled by FactSet expect adjusted earnings of 56 cents per share on revenue of $10.49 billion.

LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: Disney reported adjusted earnings of 47 cents per share on $9.74 billion in revenue.
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