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Netflix Q4'16 EPS beat first of many strong results expected for large-cap media

Analysts expect a majority of large-cap media and entertainment companies to report higher earnings per share and revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016, with Netflix Inc. leading the way.

The streaming media company on Jan. 18 reported net income for the fourth quarter of 2016 of $67 million, or 15 cents per share, up from $43 million, or 10 cents per share, in the same period of 2015. That beat already high expectations leading up to the latest fourth quarter release, with analysts looking for the company to report income of about 13 cents per share for the 2016 period, which still would have marked sequential and year-over-year improvement.

Looking at 11 media and entertainment companies on the SNL Kagan Large-Cap Media & Entertainment Index, which includes companies with a market capitalization of $5 billion or more, six including Netflix are expected to post higher earnings per share year over year while seven are expected to show improved results on a sequential quarter basis. Companies with fewer than two analyst estimates were excluded from the analysis of S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

Analysts expect the largest company on the list by market capitalization, Walt Disney Co., to report EPS of $1.50 for the recently ended period, Disney's 2017 fiscal first quarter. That would fall short of the EPS of $1.63 that Disney reported in the comparable quarter ended Jan. 2, 2016, but on a sequential basis, it represents an improvement from the quarter ended Oct. 1, 2016.

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