The Walt Disney Co. reported Wednesday that earnings rose 22% in its fiscal 2Q ended March 31 "as theme-park and ESPN operations more than offset lower creative content segment results and film write-downs," according to Jeffrey Daniels of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. For the quarter, Disney earned $384M, or $0.55 a diluted share, up 22% from pro- forma net of $316M, or $0.46 a share, in the year-earlier period. The latest quarter included a gain of $24M from the sale of its interest in Scandanavian Broadcasting System SA. (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 4/23). In N.Y., Bruce Orwall reports that Disney also announced a 3-for-1 stock split for shareholders of record May 1. The split, to be effected by means of a special dividend, will "probably be completed in July" (Bruce Orwall, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/23).
Reebok Int'l said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit fell 49% and company officials "predicted another tough quarter ahead with no improvement expected until autumn at the earliest," according to Gregg Krupa of the BOSTON GLOBE. Net income fell from $40.2M, or $0.69 per share, in 1Q '97 to $20.3M, or $0.36 per share in 1Q '98. Net sales were down from $930M in 1Q '97 to $880.1M. Krupa writes that Reebok's performance was "about what analysts had expected." Reebok Exec VP Operations & Finance Kenneth Watchmaker: "We're not writing off 1998, but we are realistic about our position." Reebok stock closed yesterday at 31 9/16 per share, down 7/8 (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/23).