Skip to Main Content

About Disney Enterprises, Inc.

The monarch of this magic kingdom is no man but a mouse: Mickey Mouse. The Walt Disney Company is the world's largest media conglomerate, with assets encompassing movies, television, publishing, and theme parks. Its TV holdings include the ABC TV network and almost ten TV stations, as well as a portfolio of cable networks including ABC Family, Disney Channel, and ESPN (80%-owned). It produces films through the Disney, Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, and Lucasfilm brands, and its Disney Parks and Resorts runs popular theme parks including Disney World and Disneyland. In 2019 Disney purchased assets of Twenty-First Century Fox for $71.3 billion making it an even greater media and entertainment behemoth.

Operations

The company reports through four business segments: Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, and Consumer Products and Interactive Media.

Media Networks is the largest segment, representing more than 40% of revenue, and operates cable and broadcast television networks and radio networks and stations. Its main cable networks are ESPN, Disney, and Freeform (Freeform, targets audiences from 14-34). The broadcasting business includes television production and distribution operations and eight owned domestic television stations.

Parks and Resorts (around 35%) owns and operates the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, the Disneyland Resort in California, Disneyland Paris; Aulani, a Disney resort and spa in Hawaii, the Disney Vacation Club (DVC), the Disney Cruise Line, and Adventures by Disney. The company also has effective ownership in Disney-branded resorts in China and Japan. This segment operates the Disney Imagineering unit, which designs and develops new theme park concepts and attractions.

Studio Entertainment (more than 15%) produces and acquires live-action and animated motion pictures for worldwide distribution to the theatrical, home entertainment, and television markets. It distributes films primarily under the Disney Pictures, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm banners. 

Consumer Products and Interactive Media (nearly 10%) licenses its trade names, characters, and visual and literary properties to various retailers and publishers throughout the world. The company also engages in retail, online, and wholesale distribution of products through nearly 360 Disney Stores, shopdisney.com, store.disney.co.jp, and shop.marvel.com. It also creates and distributes branded entertainment and lifestyle content for interactive media platforms.

Geographic Reach

In addition to its theme parks, the Burbank, California-based Walt Disney Company owns and leases properties throughout the world. It generates more than 75% of its revenue from the US and Canada followed by Europe (more than 10%), Asia Pacific (nearly 10%), and the remaining revenue from Latin America and other regions.

Sales and Marketing

Disney incurs significant marketing and advertising costs before and throughout the theatrical release of its films in an effort to generate publicity and consumer interest in the subsequent home entertainment market. The company spends close to $3 billion in advertising each year.

Financial Performance

The company's net revenue has been increasing steadily over the past several years with a minor 1% dip in 2017 primarily due to the negative effects of Hurricanes Irma and Matthew. 

In fiscal 2018 (ended September 29), Disney's net revenue jumped by 8% to $52.47 billion, driven by double-digit growth in Parks and Resorts and Studio Entertainment. Parks and Resorts went up 10% contributing $1.9 billion to revenue. This was fueled by higher volumes alongside higher average guest spending and higher ticket prices and room rates. Studio Entertainment revenue increased 19% with the theatrical distribution division releasing four Marvel titles in 2018 (compared with two the previous year), Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Incredibles 2, and Coco.

Net income saw a 40% hike in 2018 to $12.6 billion, mainly due to higher net revenues. The increase was also bolstered by a $2.1 billion tax benefit due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Cash at the end of fiscal 2018 was $4.2 billion, an increase of $91 million from the prior year. Cash from operations contributed $14.3 billion to the coffers, while investing activities used $5.3 billion, primarily for investments in parks and resorts and acquisitions. Financing activities used another $8.8 billion for dividends to stockholders and the company's stock repurchase program.

Strategy

The Walt Disney Company is currently focused on integrating its acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox and developing its direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming business. The acquisition of Fox assets gave Disney valuable intellectual property such as Deadpool and the few Marvel characters Fox had owned, such as the X-Men and Fantastic Four, uniting the full Marvel family under Disney. The deal also lets Disney expand its content across new streaming services. 

As such, the company announced details about its Disney+ streaming service in 2019, which it is launching in part to combat intense competition from Netflix. Disney wants its other streaming services -- Hulu and sports-focused ESPN+ -- to run on the same technology platform so customers can subscribe to them with the same password and payment information. Disney plans for all three to be individual subscriptions, but Disney will also market a triple-service bundle. Disney+ will include all of Disney's family-friendly fare, including content from Marvel, Lucasfilm (Star Wars), Pixar, and Fox. 

The company's acquisition of BAMTech—along with its streaming technology—in 2017 facilitated the launch of Disney's ESPN+ sports streaming service that includes boxing, major league baseball, the NHL, international soccer, and college sports games. 

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2019 Disney completed the acquisition of certain assets of Twenty-First Century Fox for $71.3 billion. Disney gained Fox Studios, FX Networks, and National Geographic Partners. The buy also added Fox's 30% stake in Hulu, bringing Disney's total to a majority 60%. In order to gain approval for the deal, Disney agreed to sell off 21 regional sports networks once owned by Fox; it eventually sold those assets to Sinclair Broadcast Group for nearly $10 billion. Disney's acquisition of the Fox assets is helping provide a platform for Disney to launch a streaming service to rival Netflix.

In 2017 Disney agreed to acquire an additional 42% stake (previously 33%) in BAMTech, a global company offering direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming technology and marketing services, data analytics, and commerce management. The $1.6 billion acquisition is allowing Disney to launch new DTC services, which mark an entirely new growth strategy for the company. 

Company Background

After getting started as an illustrator in Kansas City, Walt Disney and his brother Roy started Disney Brothers Studio in Hollywood, California, in 1923. Walt directed the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, Plane Crazy, in 1928 (the third, Steamboat Willie, was the first cartoon with a soundtrack). The studio produced its first animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in 1937. Walt Disney Productions went public in 1940 and later produced classics such as Fantasia and Pinocchio. The Disneyland theme park opened in 1955. Disney World opened in Florida in 1971 with the addition of Epcot Center in 1982. 

The company later launched The Disney Channel and opened new theme parks, including Tokyo Disneyland (1984) and Disney-MGM Studios (1989; eventually renamed Hollywood Studios). In 1986 the company changed its name to The Walt Disney Company. The Disney Store retail chain debuted in 1987. Disneyland Paris (originally Euro Disney) opened in 1992. The following year Disney expanded its movie studio with the purchase of independent film company Miramax, the brainchild of producers Bob and Harvey Weinstein.

Disney bought Capital Cities/ABC (now ABC, Inc.) for $19 billion in 1996, and two years later it bought Web services firm Starwave from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. It later acquired 43% of Internet search engine Infoseek for $70 million, and together they launched the GO Network in 1999. Disney bought the remaining 57% of Infoseek later that year and formed GO.com (later Disney Online), which began trading as a separate tracking stock.

The company expanded its theme parks in Anaheim in 2001, opening Downtown Disney and Disney's California Adventure. It also announced a further restructuring of its Internet business, including closing the GO.com search site and converting its Internet tracking stock back into Disney common stock. That year Disney formed a joint venture with Wenner Media (US Weekly LLC) and took a 50% stake in entertainment magazine US Weekly (sold in 2006). Later Disney bought Fox Family Channel, which it renamed ABC Family.

Disney's more than $50 billion acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox closed in March 2019 and gave the conglomerate control of the Marvel, X Men, and Star Wars franchises.

Disney Enterprises, Inc.

500 S BUENA VISTA ST
Burbank, CA 91521-0001
Phone: 1 (818) 560-1000

Stats

Employer Type: Privately Owned
Vice President: Kevin Ellman
Senior Systems Engineer: Ernest Fennell
Senior Vice President: Tracy Sutherland
Employees (This Location): 1,236
Employees (All Locations): 133,000

Major Office Locations

Burbank, CA

Other Locations

Anaheim, CA
Burbank, CA
Glendale, CA
Coral Gables, FL
Kissimmee, FL
Lake Buena Vista, FL
Orlando, FL
Kapolei, HI
Jackson, NJ
New York, NY