updated 5/6/2008 5:40:09 PM ET 2008-05-06T21:40:09

Strong growth in its media networks, film studios and theme parks lifted The Walt Disney Co.'s second-quarter net profit 22 percent from a year ago, the company said Tuesday.

Disney said it earned $1.13 billion, or 58 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 29, compared with $931 million, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue for the period grew 10 percent to $8.71 billion.

The results beat Wall Street estimates. Analysts expected earnings of 51 cents per share on $8.47 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Financial.

Disney announced its results after markets closed. The company's shares rose 44 cents, or 1.3 percent, to close at $33.73, then gained 76 cents, or 2.3 percent, in after-hours trading.

Analysts had expected that the weak U.S. economy and reduced consumer spending might have an effect on Disney theme parks, but the company said its parks and resorts revenue rose 11 percent to $2.7 billion, driven by higher attendance and guest spending at its Paris and Orlando, Fla., parks.

Both benefited from an Easter holiday that fell in the second quarter, the company said.

Disney also reported studio revenue increased 18 percent to $1.82 billion, with box office sales boosted by "National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets" and the 3-D hit "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds."

Media networks revenue grew 5 percent to $3.61 billion, primarily due to growth at ESPN, Disney said.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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