LOS ANGELES — The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday that its net income rose 12 percent in the final quarter of 2011, as cost cutting helped the company top earnings forecasts even while revenue gains were less than expected.
Net income in the October through December period rose to $1.46 billion, or 80 cents per share, from $1.30 billion, or 68 cents per share, a year earlier.
The results beat the 71 cents per share expected by analysts polled by FactSet.
Revenue in the company's fiscal first quarter ticked up 1 percent to $10.78 billion from $10.72 billion. The revenue figure fell short of the $11.20 billion expected by analysts.
Fees paid by distributors of ESPN rose, but advertising revenue at ESPN and broadcast network ABC was flat.
Disney's movie studio revenue fell because it released fewer big films than in past years. It also experienced a dip in sales of DVDs. Interactive media revenue declined, too, as the company moved away from expensive console games and focused on cheaper-to-make social games.
Revenue at the company's parks and resorts division grew, thanks to higher spending and attendance at domestic theme parks. Consumer products revenue grew.
Shares fell 48 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $40.50 in after-hours trading following the release of results.