Disney looks for cost savings, ponders layoffs: sources

LOS ANGELES, Mon Jan 7, 2013 — Walt Disney Co. , which reported record earnings in November, started an internal cost cutting review several weeks ago that may include layoffs at its studio and other units, three people with knowledge of the effort told Reuters.

Disney, whose empire spans TV, film, merchandise and theme parks, is exploring cutbacks in jobs no longer needed because of improvements in technology, one of the people said.

It is also looking at redundant operations that could be eliminated after a string of major acquisitions over the past few years, said the person, who did not want to be identified because Disney has not disclosed the internal review.

Executives warned in November that the rising cost of sports rights and moribund home video sales will dampen growth.

“We are constantly looking at eliminating redundancies and creating greater efficiencies, especially with the rapid rise in new technology,” said Disney spokeswoman Zenia Mucha.

In terms of profit margin, Disney’s studio is the least profitable of the entertainment conglomerate’s four major product divisions.

Its fifth division, the interactive unit that creates online games, lost $758 million over the last three years, according to the company’s financial filings.

Loews conglomerate beats estimates on CNA Financial income

NEW YORK, Mon Apr 30, 2012 – Hotels, energy and financial services conglomerate Loews Corp. posted higher-than-expected quarterly results, helped by an increase in investment income at its biggest holding CNA Financial.

For the first quarter, net income attributable to Loews – run by the billionaire Tisch family — was $367 million, or 92 cents per share, compared with $379 million, or 92 cents per share, from a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected the company to earn 90 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue increased by 2 percent to $3.74 billion from the previous year.

Net investment income at Loews increased to $726 million from $661 million, a year ago.

CNA Financial saw its net operating profit increase to $226 million, or 84 cents per share, compared with $213 million, or 79 cents per share, from the previous year.

Analysts had expected CNA Financial to earn 69 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of Loews closed at $41.01 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of CNA Financial closed at $30.15.