Pixar continues to benefit from Finding Nemo. The company announced yesterday that its income tripled in the first-quarter thanks to the huge success of the animated movie.
Pixar's first-quarter net income was $26.7 million, or 46 cents a share, compared with $8.2 million, or 15 cents, in the same quarter last year. This beat the expectation of both analysts and Pixar – analysts had expected Pixar to post earnings of 39 cents per share, Pixar had forecast 30 cents.
Revenue was $53.8 million – in the same quarter last year it was $18.7 million.
Pixar chief financial officer Ann Mather set a target for second-quarter earnings of 30 cents per share. According to Reuters Research, Wall Street expectations for the next quarter are 51 cents.
Pixar CEO Steve Jobs – also of Apple – said: "Pixar is off to a strong start in 2004 with Finding Nemo's worldwide home video sales already surpassing Monsters, Inc".
Nemo is the highest-grossing animated feature ever, with more than $860 million in global ticket sales reported. Pixar added that it expected to sell 40 million DVD and home video units of Nemo by the end of 2004 – it had previously forecast sales of 35 million units.
Jobs also confirmed that Pixar's next film: The Incredibles – about a family of super-heroes – will debut on November 5. The Incredibles will be the sixth film to be co-produced with Disney. Earlier this year Pixar said it would pull out of the distribution deal with Disney after Cars, the seventh film the companies are contracted to produce together, debuts at the end of next year.
Steve Jobs said it might be as long as a year before the company reached a distribution deal for its first film after its contract with Disney runs out.
Sanders Morris Harris analyst David Miller said: "Pixar does not need to announce the deal before May 2005, which would give it 18 months before the first post-Disney film opens. It all comes down to who distributes the best internationally."
According to a report on CBS Marketwatch, analysts said Pixar's success has put it in a position to negotiate a very good deal for its future films.
Some analysts believe there is an indication Disney might still be in the running, if chief executive Michael Eisner leaves. Jobs has not made a statement on this matter however.
Banc of America analyst Michael Savner said: "My expectation is that Pixar is likely to wait to see what happens with Disney and its management team and does not want to box itself into a corner."