News Column

Profit Picture Rosy for Disney's US Parks

Feb 11, 2013

Jason Garcia and Sara K. Clarke

The Walt Disney Co.'s theme parks performed a little short of analysts' expectations during the first quarter of Disney's fiscal year, but Wall Street is banking on big things from them through the rest of 2013.

For instance, following Disney's earnings report last week, Nomura Securities predicted Disney's U.S. parks' profit margins would expand significantly during second quarter "and even further in the next two years, reaching back to peak levels."

The reason for the optimism: The major capital projects Disney has undertaken across its domestic businesses over the last five years are now largely complete and driving growth. Disney's capital spending continued to shrink during the first quarter, dropping by a third, from $358 million to $242 million, as more of the work was wrapped up.

Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger also told analysts that capital spending on the final major project from its list -- the $1 billion "MyMagic+" system at Walt Disney World -- is mostly done, though he warned that operational costs will rise temporarily as features are rolled out this year.

Time Shares Report Earnings

Wyndham Worldwide's Orlando-based time-share operation logged a 12 percent increase in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012, driven by the acquisition of Shell Vacations Club and by higher time-share sales and resort-management fees.

For the full year, Wyndham's time-share operation reported $2.3 billion in revenue, compared with $2.1 billion a year ago. Vacation-ownership earnings for the year (before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) were $549 million, compared with $515 million in 2011, the company said.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. said earnings from its vacation-ownership and residential businesses increased approximately $5 million during the fourth quarter compared with the same period a year earlier. The gains came despite a slip in originated contract sales and average sale price in its vacation-ownership operation. For the full year, earnings from vacation ownership and residential operations increased approximately $144 million compared with 2011.

Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. is set to discuss its earnings Feb. 21.

Winter Haven Hotels for Sale

Two hotels near Legoland Florida are up for sale.

Atlantic Blue Group of Lake Wales plans to sell a Holiday Inn and a Hampton Inn, both in Winter Haven. The company said the properties are within 3 miles of the new theme park.

The hotels are part of an asset sale announced recently by Atlantic Blue that also includes a 330,000-square-foot, rail-served cold-storage property, also in Winter Haven.

Kings sets April opening

Kings Bowl of America said its new "boutique bowling" complex on International Drive will open in April. The 30,000-square-foot dining, bowling and entertainment venue will include 22 lanes of 10-pin bowling, a full-service restaurant, billiards and more than 50 big-screen televisions. It is located at 8255 S. International Dr., Suite 120, in the former Goodings Plaza.

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Source: (c) 2013 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)


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