The upbeat earnings report was tempered by a warning of declining attendance at Hong Kong Disneyland, which opened in 2005. Disney has pointed to that park as a leading example of its top-priority effort of international expansion, and the company hopes to use it as a springboard to win Chinese government approval for a park in Shanghai.
But Disney said the Hong Kong park drew fewer visitors in the quarter just ended than in the same three months a year earlier and that attendance and sales had missed projections.
"If these trends do not significantly improve," the company warned, it would be in violation of pledges it made to lenders on the project. Disney could then be forced to refinance $294 million in debt.
Wednesday's admission is the starkest to date about the Hong Kong property, where Disney has a large minority stake. Even so, and despite flat attendance at Disney's U.S. parks, higher average spending by U.S. visitors pushed the division's profit to $405 million from $375 million.
Profit at the network division including ABC and ESPN rose to $750 million from $606 million, while profit from consumer products dropped to $235 million from $270 million.
On the same day the Hong Kong theme park warning was included deep in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Disney was hosting Wall Street analysts for an annual series of closed-door presentations in Florida. The company made audio of the day's events available over the Internet.