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ESPN weighs on Disney's fiscal Q3 bottom line

Walt Disney Co. on Aug. 8 reported declines in profitability for its fiscal third quarter, driven by losses at ESPN.

Net income attributable to the media and entertainment giant came to $2.37 billion, or $1.51 per share, compared to $2.60 billion, or $1.59 per share, down 9% year over year on an aggregate basis and 5% year over year on a per-share basis. A 22% operating income decline in the company's media networks segment, which includes ESPN, weighed on profitability. The company said higher programming costs, lower advertising revenue and contractual expenses at ESPN, partially offset by affiliate revenue growth, were responsible for the lower income.

The company reported non-GAAP adjusted EPS of $1.58, down 2% from $1.62 reported in the prior-year quarter.

The consensus GAAP and adjusted EPS estimates for the fiscal third quarter were each $1.55, according to S&P Capital IQ.

Disney reported total revenues of $14.24 billion for the quarter, compared to $14.28 billion in the 2016 quarter.