Subscriber growth at Walt Disney Co.’s flagship streaming service has slowed in the current quarter, Chief Executive Bob Chapek said Tuesday, a development that sent company shares falling in midday trading.
Investors should expect a subscriber increase in the “low single-digit millions” for Disney+ after the service encountered headwinds, Chapek said. In its most recent quarter, Disney+ subscriber numbers beat estimates when the service added more than 12 million subscribers, reaching 116 million.
Shares in Disney
fell more than 5% soon after Chapek’s comments, which were delivered at an investor conference held by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
The stock closed down 4.2%, or $7.44, at $171.17.
Wall Street’s quick response to any bad news concerning Disney+ signals how crucial investors see the streaming service to the company’s overall future. Not even two years old, Disney+ has emerged as a bright spot—and stock-price savior—after more than a year of movie-theater and theme-park closures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chapek cautioned investors not to expect subscriber growth to be a steady march from quarter to quarter.
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