Walt Disney Company (The) (DIS)

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The Walt Disney Company (DIS)

Annual Meeting of Shareholders Conference Call

March 06, 2013, 12:00 pm ET


Bob Iger - Chairman & CEO

Belinda Massafra - Representative, Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions

Cornish Hitchcock - Representative, Hermes Equity Ownership Services

Orin Smith - Director

Roy E. Disney - Co-Founder

Alan Braverman - SVP & General Counsel




Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Chairman and Chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger.

Bob Iger

Good morning. Nice to be here this morning; wasn’t the idea just fantastic. Thank you. It really is a great time to be a part of The Walt Disney Company, great time for the company, because in case you missed it yesterday, our stock price hit an all time high; timing is everything right. And the market cap of our company hit a record $102 billion. And not to be too greedy, but we opened today up a little bit and the last I checked we are up another $0.06, not a bad way to start the day.

Now that video that you just saw reflects how much Disney means to millions of people all over the world. We create special moments and wonderful memories that last a lifetime, that's the real magic of Disney and last year we made more magic than ever. How many of you have been to Cars Land? Cars Land is like stepping right out of the movie Cars and into radiator springs in real life and our guests absolutely love it. The opening of Cars Land capped an amazing transformation at Disney’s California adventure which is now a fantastic destination in its own right and a real worthy neighbor to Disneyland.

We also launched our fourth ship the incomparable Disney Fantasy which set a new standard of luxury cruising and cruise passengers voted the Disney Fantasy ‘The Best Overall Large Ship and the Best Service in the World, that's of all cruise ships. It’s quite a distinction. Thank you.

And as you may have heard, Marvel’s The Avengers was not only the biggest movie of the year, but it’s the third highest grossing movie of all time. I have a lot of other good things to say, so you can hold your applause. We also released three animated features last year, Brave, Frankenweenie and Wreck-It Ralph and everyone of them received Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for best picture and Brave took home both awards which makes it the 7th movie to win the Oscar for Pixar. We actually swept the animation Oscars. We also won an Oscar for a short film from Disney Animation which was called Paperman. So we've had an extraordinary creative resurgence at our animation business and across the company which is what we wanted when we made our acquisition in Pixar back in 2006.

Now meanwhile ESPN is still the undisputed market leader and number one sports trend. ABC Good Morning America is now the country’s number one morning show and the Disney channel finished last year as the number one channel among kids Two-to-11 and that's the first time they've ever done that. So all of the success across all of our businesses led to another great financial performance for The Walt Disney Company.

In fiscal 2012, we increased revenue by 3% to a record $42 billion, which led to a record $5.7 billion in net income and that was up over 18% over last year. And our earnings per share were up 24% setting a new record of $3.13. And for the 57th year in a row Disney shareholders received a dividend and it was up 25% from the year earlier. So our record financial results drove total shareholders return of more than 76% and that was more than double that of the S&P 500. Over the last five years, total shareholder return for Disney was 62.2% and that is almost 12 times the S&P 500 return of 5.4%.

Our strong performance is a result of the world-class management team which is running our businesses and the tremendous work of our fantastic cast members and employees all around the world and I hope you are as proud of our people and of our results as we are.

Now we are also very excited about what's ahead. There were some teasers in that video that you saw earlier. I got to start with our acquisition of Lucasfilm. It's a huge honor for us to have George Lucas & Trust, his extraordinary legacy to Disney. George has always been a great innovator and a great visionary, but first and foremost, George is a great storyteller and Star Wars, with its 17,000 characters and 20,000 years of mythology is an incredible story. We are taking that story in to the future starting with Star Wars Episode VII, which will be directed by J.J. Abrams with whom we’ve had a long very successful relationship that includes creating a global phenomena that was on ABC known as Lost. And we are obviously very excited to have J.J. on-board and to have Star Wars at Disney and I hope you are too.

Take a look at this video.


Pretty exciting. Star Wars Episode VII will be released in 2015 and we are also working on some standalone movies, featuring the great Star Wars characters. Lucasfilm joins Disney, Pixar, Marvel, ESPN and ABC in our unprecedented collection of amazing brands and we have so much to look forward to in all of our businesses starting by the way with parks and resorts.

Our expansion of Fantasy Land at Walt Disney World combines exceptional creativity and innovative technology to take story telling and iconic characters to a great location and bring it to a whole new level. The response from our guests because some of this is already opened has been overwhelmingly positive and we’ve got more attractions coming this year in 2013 and then in 2014.

The Walt Disney said Disney Land will never be completed; it will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world and we feel the same way about all of our products across the world. We continue to invent new ways to thrill and entertain families at everyone of our products, and constantly asking how we can make it even more fun, even a better experience and we have invested a lot thought and resources in this effort and the most recent result is our new MyMagic Plus program. And using the latest RFID technology embedded in a convenient wristband, MyMagic Plus is going to let Walt Disney World guests enjoy more of what we have to offer starting with planning their details of their visit from home including securing fast to their favorite attractions and making reservations at special signing experiences across our property.

And I have to resort magic bands will serve as room keys and club ticket and you can even link them to your credit card and pay for your purchases with the simple swipe of your wrist at any place that you are purchasing something and for our guests who choose to share additional information with us about what they like, we can create and even more personalized experience which I think everybody is going to love.

I was at Disney Walt just last month and I had a chance to try out my Magic plus and I can tell you the Magic bands take the product to a whole new level in terms of experience, access and convenience is definitely greater and I think they are going to be extremely popular for us.

Another exciting project is Shanghai Disneyland where we are creating a one of a kind destination that is authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese. We broke ground just two years ago and we recently got our first look at a 3D model showing what the park is actually going to look like. I can't show you the whole thing right now but I know there's a lot of anticipation and excitement about the Shanghai Disney resorts so I did bring you one surprise.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com