Bob Iger gave an Oscar-worthy performance on Disney’s earnings call


Good morning.

I don’t often listen to earnings calls because they are usually a boring recitation of numbers that can be more easily digested in written form. But this week Disney communicate He was an exception. I wish I had I was there.

CEO Bob Iger gave an Oscar-worthy performance. In the first two minutes of the call, before he mentioned a single number, he announced:

1. Disney hired former Alabama coach Nick Saban — the heartthrob of millions of middle-aged Southern men — to be ESPN commentator. Roll the tide.

2. In November, the company will release a feature-length animated sequel to Moana– The global symbol of the power of diversity.

3. The company invests in Epic Games, the manufacturer of fortnite– The obsession with male children after puberty is everywhere.

4. Disney will be the exclusive streaming home of a new, expanded version of the film Taylor Swift: Tour for the Agescelebrating a star who has proven to have unparalleled appeal to girls—and a surprising number of guys—of all ages.

Is there anyone we missed there? Add to that the fact that Disney “leads the industry with 20 nominations heading into the Oscars” — which, by the way, will be broadcast on Disney’s ABC network. And oh yeah, the numbers were pretty good too: operating income was up 27%, adjusted earnings per share were up 23%, streamline operating income was up 86%, and cost savings were a healthy $7.5 billion.

The performance sent Disney’s stock price up more than 10% yesterday. The only person whose heart has not been touched is Nelson Peltz, the activist investor seeking to join Disney’s board. “It’s happened again,” said a spokesman for Peltz’s Trian Partners. “We watched this movie last year and didn’t like the ending.”

Sorry, Nelson. When it comes to storytelling, you can’t beat Disney — at least as long as Iger remains at the helm.

More news below.

Alan Murray

This story originally appeared on

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