Disney To Restore Dividend By End Of Year, No ESPN Spinoff In The Works: Iger

The Walt Disney Co DIS CEO Bob Iger said at the company’s first-quarter earnings call on Wednesday that the company has made the decision to reinstate its dividend by end of 2023.

What Happened: Iger said, “As a result of the impact of the COVID pandemic, we made the decision to suspend the dividend in the spring of 2020.”

“Now that the pandemic impacts to our business are largely behind us, we intend to ask the Board to approve the reinstatement of a dividend by the end of the calendar year."

Iger also touched on the separation of ESPN as its own unit and acknowledged that it would lead to questions about it being spun off. He said, “We did not do it for that purpose. Actually, ESPN is a differentiator for this company.”

See Also: How To Buy Disney (DIS) stock

Why It Matters: Iger said at the earnings call that the ESPN brand is “very healthy” and so is its programming.

“We just have to figure out how to monetize it in a disrupting and continuing disrupting world.” 

Disney reported first-quarter revenue of $23.51 billion, an increase of 8% year-over-year on Wednesday beating a Street estimate of $23.57 billion, according to Benzinga Pro data. 

The company is laying off nearly 7,000 employees and reorganizing itself into three divisions — Disney Entertainment, ESPN, and Parks, Experiences and Products.

Price Action: On Wednesday, Disney shares rose 5.45% in the after-hours trading to $117.84 after closing 0.1% higher in regular trading, according to Benzinga Pro data.

Read Next: New Disney CEO Bob Iger Is Cutting The Fat - And Fast. Is ESPN Next? 1 Analyst Weighs In

Photo by Josh Hallet on Flickr

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Posted In: EarningsEntertainmentNewsGuidanceDividendsGeneralBob IgerESPN
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