Walt Disney Co posted a larger-than-expected rise in both quarterly profit and revenue, fueled by an improving ad climate and strength in the media giant's cable operations.
Shares of Disney -- which earlier announced that its finance chief, Tom Staggs, and the head of its parks division, Jay Rasulo, will soon swap jobs -- rose 3.3 percent after the company reported its earnings.
They crushed forecasts, based on very strong cable results and material outperformance on the parks, said David Bank, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets.
Net income in the fiscal fourth quarter, ended October 3, rose to $895 million, or 47 cents per share, from $760 million, or 40 cents a share, in the year-ago fourth quarter.
Fourth-quarter revenue rose 4.5 percent to $9.87 billion from $9.45 billion a year ago and beat the $9.28 billion expected on average by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Excluding items, the company earned 46 cents a share compared with 44 cents in the prior year quarter, handily beating analysts' average forecasts for 41 cents a share on that basis, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Operating income at Disney's cable networks grew 19 percent, primarily due to higher affiliate revenue at ESPN and growth at the worldwide Disney Channels.
In its parks division, operating income fell 17 percent, but that was less than analysts had expected amid concerns about the pullback in consumer spending.
Disney shares rose to $30.01 after closing at $29.05 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.
(Reporting by Susan Zeidler; Editing by Gary Hill)