Pixar has reported its highest third quarter earnings, thanks to video and DVD sales of Finding Nemo.

The company, of which Apple CEO Steve Jobs is also CEO, reported net income of $22.4 million, or 38 cents per share for the quarter ended October 2, compared with $13.2 million, or 23 cents per share in the same period last year.

Analysts had predicted earnings of 24 cents per share, reports AP.

Results from Pixar's latest movie – The Incredibles – were not included in the third quarter. The film earned $70.3 million in its opening weekend.

With the expected success of The Incredibles, Pixar expects its full year profit to be in a range from $2.10 per share to $2.20 per share, revealed Jobs.

Musical chairs

Pixar is due to make a seventh and final film while contracted to Disney. Cars is due to be released next year. Following that Pixar's contract with Disney will end.

According to AP, Jobs said the company is not in serious negotiations for a new deal with any studio and is waiting until Disney names a new chief executive to replace Michael Eisner, who is retiring in 2006. Disney's board expects to name Eisner's successor by June.

Jobs predicts that "musical chairs among the other studios" could be the result of Disney seeking a new CEO. "So who knows where people are going to end up?" he asks. There has been some speculation as to whether Jobs himself should front up Disney.

He also said that Pixar is considering releasing its films in the summer rather than at Christmas. This move would mean an 18-month release delay to make the change, so the companies first film following its last with Disney may not hit the silver screen until 2007.